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Posts Tagged ‘Improv’

Thanks for all the kind comments last week.  We’re regrouping in week three and lucky to have such awesome friends.

Life continues behind the scenes of a quilting blog;)

sewkatiedid/going circular

I finished the last of the samples for my Exploring Inside the Box series.  It might be the colors, but regardless of the improvisational curves this pillow has that same graphic edgy feel as the others.

sewkatiedid/going circular

This shape is so simple to execute improvisationally.  I really love the little hit of added strip piecing.  I rotate building out all four quadrants on this design.  A little to this quarter and a little to that avoids identical colors mingling in the same location, unless that’s the look you’re aiming for.  It’s rather forgiving if you feel you’ve misplaced a color because you can always rip it apart or recut.

It would be fun to make in a binary color scheme too.

sewkatiedid/exploring inside the box series

I’ve really enjoyed working with this color way, but it’s time to move on, so I’ve been thinking of new blocks and colors for Series II.  We’ve got the winter dates, I just need to get going on the blocks before we list it.

Series II might be inspired by Seattle’s fluffy white and grey clouds currently passing us by and the blue sky you get snapshots of here and there.

sewkatiedid/exploring inside the box block series

I have all the pillows currently home and it’s fun to see them all together, though overwhelming in the matchy-matchy department.  Perhaps some Plain Jane’s are needed to break things up.

I’ll get right on that;)

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If you were wait listed for the first Exploring Inside the Box series we have new dates for the winter session on Tuesdays, follow the link here.  

Monday, October 27th is Open Studio at Island Quilter.  Reserve your spot by following this link.

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sewkatiedid/Happy Snowballed Sunshine quilt

There’s no sugar coating it, our family has had a full dose of life reality lately, so it wasn’t a mistake that I pulled this bit of happy colored sunshine out of the pile of unfinished tops to quilt.

I needed some mind occupation.

sewkatiedid/happy snowballed sunshine quilt

It seems that each quilt has a memory of its making somewhere along all its steps, and not in a bad way, but quilting and binding Happy Snowballed Sunshine will remind me for a time of my father-in-law John passing.

sewkatiedid/happy snowballed sunshine quilt

This quilt and its association with this particular time reminded me of quilting Supernova.  Supernova was the quilt that I was working on four years ago yesterday, the same day John got his kidney transplant.

 There were tears of joy quilted into that quilt and a few sad ones for the donor’s family too.  That generous lady knew that in her passing she could gift a family some of those ‘best of times’ as we call them.

And she did.

sewkatiedid/happy snowballed sunshine

But quilting this also made me thankful that I have creative things to do that occupy my mind when I need them.

sewkatiedid/happy snowballed sunshine

It also solidified something that seems so obvious, but I’d never really thought about it. My love for fun and funky color combos that lift my mood to happy when I see them, even if the times don’t match.

sewkatiedid/Happy Snowballed Sunshine

And the prints that are hard to cut into?  Now is the time to use them.

sewkatiedid/happy snowballed sunshine back

I’ll gift this bit of happy at some point.  This quilt hasn’t found its person yet, but that baby will add another dimension to the quilt memory.

john best

(thanks Sounders FC  instagram for photo)

And for my happy memory I’ve been reminding myself to remember the healthy John.  The John that would sit on my couch drinking a martini telling me funny stories.

 He would have liked my happy quilt and he definitely loved sunshine;)

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I’ve been making a real effort to post on Monday’s.  Routine is good right?  Last week was just too full of additions in the unexpected category and something had to go.

So here’s a week in review.

us

Wednesday I was talking about my love of the dahlias and how we had them at our wedding and it dawned on me that it was our 10th wedding anniversary.  We were out for dinner, so I guess we celebrated unknowingly!  Our focus has been on the family at large so it just slipped our minds.

portland bound

 I was Portland bound for the week teaching.  My students were awesome and as usual I was involved in class and took not a single photo.

portland bound

I did manage to take a picture of my gin and tonic at Bollywood Theater though…I’m not sure we want to analyze that:)

It was fun to catch up with a few Portland friends and of course eat good food.

carolyn friedlander

(quilt by Carolyn Friedlander)

Carolyn Friedlander’s quilts are on exhibit at Modern Domestic  through October 10th, so I made a stop there.  I envy her simplicity AND complexity in design and her visionary quilting.  I wish I had an eye for that kind of finish.

I finished up with week with an Open Studio at Island Quilter.  Good times with some of my favorite people.  Now I’m starting to think about packing my quilts in suitcases for my trip to the Kansas City Modern Quilt Guild.  For those that have inquired, they have open the classes up to non-guild members now.  Wish me luck on that suitcase thing.

photo-23

Jefe has been non-stop on the French drain around my studio.

sewkatiedid

I need some help though and thought maybe I could reach out to you all for some ideas on my first world problem.

I have to buy windows and a door for the studio above.  The shutters will go and the house will get painted.  The reddish brick is a total throw off for me when it comes to color and my gutters are brown, though they could be painted.

So my question is, what color window frames should I get and what colors go well with the red brick?  I’m sort of leaning towards black frames and a really dark teal for the house.

Any suggestions?  Pictures?

P.S. Life is good ;)

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Half way through September peeps!  It doesn’t surprise me, last week evaporated with lightening speed.

sewkatiedid/stripped pillow from design seeds workshop series

I did manage early in the week to finished a pillow sample for the “stripped” session of my design seeds series.

sewkatiedid/stripped sample for design seeds workshop seriesMy Juki and I are still becoming acquainted with one another.  I’ll have to post some questions for you Juki lovers to answer at a later time.

sewkatiedid/stripped sample for design seeds workshop series

  I also have a ton of leftover ‘seeds’ to start some others.  This color way is really growing on me.

sewkatiedid/design seeds

I played a bit with this improv spiderweb idea,

sewkatiedid/design seeds patchwork workshop series

and diamonds, which are new to me, but appeal to my triangle obsession.  My curves sample got pushed to this week.

sewkatiedid/drygoods design open quilting studio

Wednesday I spent the day at Drygoods Design’s new location in Pioneer square for my Open Quilting Studio.  As usual, Keli rocked the window.  With teaching on the road I sadly won’t be able to sew again there until November.  Looking forward to it.

Thursday I taught the first session of my Exploring Inside the Box series.  I’m thankful to have a great group of ladies to be spending one night a month with.  Everyone was please with their design seeds by the time class was over;)

Sewkatiedid/improvisational triangles workshop

Friday I was lucky enough to hang out with the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild teaching Improvisational Elongated Triangles.  I always get involved and forget to take photos at my workshops, but those ladies are the real deal and I look forward to spending some time with them at a sew-in here and there.

sounders

I caught the ferry back over to downtown and Jefe met me via water taxi for the Sounders game.

team newly

I couldn’t make it this year to the Bainbridge Quilt Festival because some sixty friends and family walked in honor of my brother-in-law in the Seattle ALS Association Fundraiser.  Our team, Team Newby, was at check-in the 6th largest earner for the walk in Seattle!

Special thanks to the Bainbridge Island Modern Quilt Guild ladies for all their words of kindness, advice, story sharing, and donating during my workshop;)  It all helps those navigating this awful disease.

Ok, I’m off to try and keep the pace.  I did one read over and am pushing ‘publish’ for the week.

Northwest Quilting Expo next week and plenty to do in-between.

Happy Week!

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sewkatiedid/block series(Session I:Boxed In Block)

I’ve loved the idea of teaching a workshop series in which each session focused on a single block.  A block of the month sort of thing, minus the sampler quilt finish.

I wanted the series to touch on both traditional and improvisational patchwork piecing techniques and construction, but focus more on the design process and students creating their own unique block.  Of course being with classmates along the way feeds that inspiration and generates ideas outside the box, or maybe inside;)

The idea of pillows as the delivery system for this workshop idea hung with me for a few reasons:

1) If you know me, you know I like pillows.

2) We need pillows, more pillows.

3) Pillows are gems to perfect sewing skills, like an invisible zipper.

4) Pillows provide realistic parameters in which to create, design and buy more fabric, all with little intimidation or money.

5) No one can say to you, ‘Go big or go home.”  when you’re making a pillow.

So pillows it is.

sewkatiedid/block series

(Session II: Double-Trouble)

By going small we’d have time to enjoy, talk and develop our own design process.

sewkatiedid/double-trouble

That’s right, I’m a ‘pillow maker,’ a term that cracks me up because I actually heard it used once as a derogatory term by a quilter that didn’t think another really made quilts, only pillows.  I’m not saying you have to be a pillow maker, you can even be a sampler maker if that’s your thing, but we’ll be exploring with in the confines of a box.  Go big or go small, we’ll make it yours.

So here goes.

 Sign up at  The Quilting Loft.

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-Exploring Inside a Box-

sewkatiedid/block series workshop

Modern Patchwork Block Series

Take one session, or the whole series, to explore the merging of traditional and improvisational patchwork techniques, one block at a time. Katie Pedersen, author of Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts will guide you through the techniques and skills needed for each block, variations in block design, and the secondary designs multiple blocks create. While we’re at it, we’ll get friendly with our design wall, touch on color and value theory, and cover the advantages of constructing a block that is either precise in piecing, or more willy-nilly.

*Even if you are a seasoned quilter you can up your patchwork game by adding improvisational techniques to your knowledge base.

Class Full/See Quilting Loft for winter session
Session I- Boxed In- Log Cabin Block/ 
Thursday, September 11th from 6-9pm

Let’s start off with some basics shall we? Go round and round, but in a square. Take on log cabin blocks with new perspective. Design wall process is a focus of this session.

Session II- Double-Trouble Block/ Thursday, October 2nd from 6-9pm

Two techniques, one traditional and one improvisational create modern triangles. Skills like accurate cutting and piecing covered.

Class Full/See Quilting Loft for winter session

Session III- Stripped/ Thursday, November 13th from 6-9pm

Cut fabric up, sew it back together, and then sew it together again. It’s like making your own fabric. We’ll place your piecing into a simple modern block design and learn how to build out an improvisational block.

Class Full/See Quilting Loft for winter session

 Session IV- Improvisational Curves Block/ Thursday, December 4th from 6-9pm

Master improvisationally pieced curves without pinning a thing to create organic shapes.

Session V- Pillowtalk/Invisible Zipper Closure Pillow and Finishing Class/ Thursday, December 11th from 5-9pm

Finish up blocks and/or learn how to professionally install an invisible zipper.

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I’ve had a lot of inquiries lately about my design walls via Instagram and Pinterest.

I would consider design walls one of the most important tools in my studio.

Distance and vertical perspective are important to design.

sewkatiedid/double-trouble block

Colors and prints don’t just come together for me, they make me work for it.  I’m not a sketcher, so I have to cut, pin and/or fold fabrics and put them up vertically to gain some visual perspective on their interaction with one another.  I can’t say whether this design process saves me time, but being at the wall with my stash is the part of the design process I enjoy the most.

sewkatiedid/psychedelic baby

 There have been a few incarnations with design walls as my needs (and quilts) have grown.  Before our move, I had distance from my design wall because my family put up with the space being more studio than living room.  If you can get 8 feet or more that’s ideal (there are other tools like peep holes that can help give distance too).

sewkatiedid/design wall

The fabric I use is a grey flannel sheet.  I purchase flannel sheets from Garnet Hill so I don’t have to piece (sign up for their emails, they always have sales or free shipping).  I like how whites and neutrals pop off it.

sewkatiedid/design wall

It’s fully mounted to the wall.  Full details about it are here.

sewkatiedid/design wall

There were baby steps made before this permanent solution.  The design walls I started with and that I encourage students to purchase are pre-made design walls or picnic table cloths that can easily be rolled up and tucked away and because having only one project going at a time is simply absurd I have two layered.  To the top of one wall I sewed doubled-over ribbon.  This allows me to roll and secure it when not in use.  The vinyl backing will help keep everything stay put, pretty much where you placed it.

sewkatiedid/design wall

 If you want to read more about a roll up design wall I’ve posted about that here.

A few years ago when Jacquie and I were teaching together we joke about not marrying what was on your design wall, someone commented that you are only sleeping together and we all had a good laugh.  But seriously, move stuff around, you never know what you might end up with and you’ll know it’s right when you see it.

Live them.  You won’t be disappointed.

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I hate making quilt backs.  I also spend too much time over thinking the quilting.  I know from discussions that I’m not alone at this stage of quilt making.

So instead I’ve been piling up quilt tops.  I haven’t quilted a quilt since, oh, November;( lame.

So I’ve started making my fabric piles, AND I will…make…quilt backs.

I know many quilters that now shy away from prints, but I have a soft spot for prints and backs are a perfect place to use up those that made me love fabric and quilting.

sewkatiedid/Psychedelic Baby Quilt

I think this quilt has been together minus a border for a year and a half.

sewkatiedid

This is what I purchased, but I’m not so sure I’m sold.  The handle on these Kaffe fabrics is really nice if you are looking for a soft quilt back.

Snowballed Sunshine is my new color way obsession.

wonky snowballed stars/sewkatiedid

It’s getting scraps and some larger cuts in the same sunshine happy tones.

sewkatiedid

My Sochi Hex just needs some length and maybe some added width.

sewkatiedid/hex

Fabrics from the front and a few of the same prints in an alternate color way will merge for its back.

sewkatiedid

My newest Double-Trouble quilt is the one I’m itching to quilt the most.  The picture makes it look so dull, but it’s bright and vibrant.

double-trouble scrappy/sewkatiedid

I knew I wanted the 60s type flower print to be showcased on the back and I’ll take it from there with the others.

sewkatiedid

Now we’ll just have to see how long those piles sit?

I do enjoy choosing binding, so maybe that will be my incentive.

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