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Thoughts on: Making the Bartow

Bartow-2As part of the 30th anniversary of Kona Cotton, 30 different designers were asked by Robert Kaufman Fabrics to design something to show off the beauty of Kona colors. I was particularly enamored with Carolyn Friedlander’s quilt: Bartow, so when my young friend Maya asked for that one, I was pretty excited to get the chance.

I still have a nice stash of Kona Cotton (one of the perks of working for RK in 2014), so Maya and I dug through the them. She chose the Elizabeth Hartman Patchwork City: Autumn bundle, which includes a whole lot of purples, blues and green. Then I chose an additional 20 from a 10-Square of the Dusty Palette Konas.

Then I start cutting hundred and hundreds of strips.

Then I sewed hundreds of strips together. A bunch after work, then the rest at home.

I pressed them to the color side and organized them with the infinitely handy Wonder Clips.

I organized strips and then sewed them together into rows. Then started putting those rows together.

Which went just fine until the fifth row, when it didn’t quite fit… 

What the what?!

So, come to find out, the 1/4-inch stitch on the machine at the Fabric Depot sewing studio doesn’t give me the same 1/4-inch stitch as my machine as home. I didn’t realize it, but sewing all of those strips together and losing just a smidge on each seam caused my strips to be almost THREE INCHES too short.

Three inches. That’s what happens when one machine is stitching a quarter-inch seam just 1/16th of an inch larger than the other.

So for now, I’m picking out some of the seams to re-sew them and hope I can make this work without re-doing it all.

Lesson learned: Check your quarter-inch seam when switching between machines. I should have listened to you, Mandi.

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Playing with color

I’ve made at least a dozen of the Circling Geese Pincushions now, sticking with the black Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen for the background fabric.  I just love the way it looks with the pops of color against the black and white threads of the linen.

I wanted to make another for a swap that I miserably failed at last year. If you follow my blog at all, you know at last year was a tough one with lots of health issues plus a heaping of personal/family stuff that didn’t make it on to the blog. I’ve had a tremendous amount of guilt for not following through as I had wanted with that swap and it torments me.

But now that life is starting to have some sort of normalcy to it, I’m trying desperately to make up for last year’s failings. One of the members of the swap is a real Carolyn Friedlander fan, so I knew I  what to use her  fabric, but didn’t think I wanted to stick with the black background with these. I decided to give the chambray color a try instead and loved it.

20150403-103642-38202620.jpgIt can be a bit messy along the way, pulling out all those papers, but the final piece  never fails to make me happy. And I absolutely how these play together.

20150403-103643-38203005.jpgNow to finish it up and get it in the mail. Better late than never, right?

 

 

 

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Distracted

alturas-front-cover_low-resThe first time I saw Carolyn’s Alturas pattern I think I actually squealed out loud. You know that embarrassing, “Oh! I looooove it!” exclamation that never fails to leave me looking around, hoping against hope that I’m totally alone. But it was worth it. Alturas is beautiful and simple in this vintage way that I absolutely do love. [Check out her blog post to see the varied iterations of Alturas for more inspiration.]

I made one a while back; quilted it up as a mug rug and gave it away in some swap or another. I don’t even remember what fabric I used, but I knew I really, really liked the pattern.

So a couple nights ago, when I should have been packing for the upcoming move but would rather do anything else, I decided to break open the London Calling charm pack and make one up.

London Calling is a lovely cotton lawn collection, a tight weave but kinda floppy. I starched the bejeezus out of the charm square before cutting it (and yes! the pattern is perfect for charm squares!) and started out by basting it onto the Essex Yarn-Dyed Linen, all the way around, then clipping the curves and doing some relaxing needle turn appliqué.

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I watched a couple of episodes of Dexter and it was done. Just like that.

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My original plan had been to make a pincushion out of it, but once I got the box made and stuffed I realized it was just too big for a pincushion. So instead I have a tiny pillow.

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And the impetus to make an entire Alturas quilt, one block at a time.

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Cooling Down

I have lived most of my life in the Pacific Northwest where autumn rolls in dramatically with heavy rains and a sudden drop in temperatures. I’ve wrapped my annual body clock around that change, but here we are in October in SoCal and still wearing tank tops and getting sunburnt on the weekends. My body can’t seem to figure out that it actually is fall. But where’s the cold? the rain?

For example, this was last Sunday, October 6. High of 90°F at Disneyland. Seriously? This is fall?

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Of course, if you ask my fellow Californians, the ones who lived most of their lives here, they’ll tell you it is definitely fall. The temperatures are cooling down (into the 70s? oh brr!), the morning marine layer is more common, the leaves are beginning to drop. So I guess this is how fall rolls in down here, gently and with sunshine. I like it.

Quilt Market is just around the corner, though, along with both of my children’s birthdays, and into the holiday madness of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I needed something to convince me of these changing seasons, so I decided to make myself a scarf. Robert Kaufman Fabrics has these lovely new Mammoth Flannels which are soft and warm and, if you ask me, they are the perfect colors to get me in the mood for fall.

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I was able to get my hands on a small swatch of Carolyn Friedlander‘s new Botanics collection, a fabric  that just was calling out to be tagged up with the flannel. The color is Curry and it makes me want Indian food every time I look at it.  But I digress, back to making scarves…. I simply cut a couple of width of fabric strips (about 8″ wide), sewed them together, flipped it and topstitched. Bam! A scarf!

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Now I don’t really have an excuse to complain about the A/C being on high everywhere I go.  I don’t have to be cold in the grocery store anymore because I have a lovely new cotton flannel scarf.

It’s like having autumn wrapped snugly around my neck.

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Now that I’ve got it, what to do with it?

I’ve been ogling Carolyn Friedlander‘s work since I saw her at Fall Quilt Market in 2011. It’s been a while. First the amazing paper-pieced patterns, then her architecture-inspired fabric with Robert Kaufman Fabrics called, appropriately, Architextures.  I fell in love with it months ago. 20130305-212130.jpg

Carolyn was nice enough to send me a little candy pack of the fabrics from Fall Quilt Market 2012 and I’ve lovingly petted them since.  (I’m not the only one who fondles fabric, right?!)

I was at Modern Domestic tonight picking up a pattern and some fabric from Lizzy House’s new Constellation line (from Andover Fabrics) and just couldn’t resist the fat quarter stack of Architexture. I swear it was actually calling my name.

So now I have it and I love it and I have absolutely no idea what I’ll do with it besides pet it occasionally. -shrug-