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Sewing for LUKE

This is what has been filling my off-hours lately. I have 400 log cabin blocks to make: 200 of one variation, 200 of the other. I started with all those red squares and have been adding row after row of thin white, then thick black (per LUKE‘s instruction).  It’s awfully fun to see them come together.

20150418-092836-34116448.jpgIt can be a little fidgety though sometimes. LUKE uses discarded garments for the pieces, so there’s always a wide variety of fabrics types and sometimes they don’t play well together. I’ve already melted through a couple of polyester pieces. Some ravel a lot. Others stretch badly. So this requires pressing, measuring and trimming after each row. My current living space (less than 600 sq. ft) isn’t super conducive for this set-up, but it is what it is.

20150418-092836-34116894.jpgI’ve got one more row to do on this first batch of 200. They are stacking up quite nicely if I do say so myself. I’ve got a little Fabric Depot work and some  PMQG chores, but then I’ll get back to these later this weekend and maybe by Monday I can start the next 200.

20150418-092836-34116146.jpgYou can follow along with this series of log cabin quilts that LUKE is having made by searching the hashtags #sewingforLUKE and #LCoDJ on Instagram or read about it here.

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Supernova is a pattern!

Supernova

Last month I participated in Jennifer Sampou‘s Black and White Collection blog hop via the work blog, but I’m so happy about how it turned out, I just wanted to share it here as well! We got to choose our own pattern (or make up our own) for  each stop along the way. I’ve learned to really love this Winding Ways block and wanted to use that. I set to work with a pencil and a Winding Ways blank template.

winding ways supernovaOne of the things that I really love about this pattern is all the intersecting circles and how they play with each other depending on where you put color and where you don’t.

I can sit and color in those blocks for hours, erasing and re-arranging until everyone has locked the doors and gone home.

 

I can’t say I figured this out on my own, either. It was thanks to doing work with Luke Haynes on this Moda quilt that I learned just how entertaining this traditional block can be when fiddled with.

sorry for the iPhone shot, but it's all I can find :(
sorry for the iPhone shot, but it’s all I can find :(

I played with it until I settled on a design, got the fabric and set to work on cutting out the pieces (thank you, Accuquilt) and piecing, piecing, piecing. I did a lot of these blocks one at a time, which I tend not to do (I love chain piecing more than almost anything), but since it was a pretty finicky pattern and I was making it up on the fly, I needed to get it right.

If you look close enough, though, you’ll notice that I didn’t get it quite right. Let’s call that a “design choice” or a “only God makes perfect things” decision.

Yeah, that’s it.

The quilt was featured on the third day of the hop and I was super happy to see it get so many likes on Instagram. I know, it sounds silly and superficial, but really…it’s hard putting your work out there to be judged. And I’ve seen more than a few designers ripped a new one over their designs and it is not pretty. Luckily this one was liked.

20150208-050158-18118064.jpgA lot. And people asked for a pattern. (What the what?!?)

So I asked my boss if we should do a pattern through work or if I should do it on my own.

She said they’d do it (which is great because their graphic designer is WAY better than I could ever be). I wrote up a few guidelines, figured out quantities and then “tested” it with paper pieces.

 

Then wham-bam, there was a pattern!

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And you can get it for FREE from Fabric Depot: Supernova Quilt.

In March I’ll have a little quilt along for those who are interested in making your own version.  I’m still working out the details and trying to figure a workable timeline for everyone, so if you have feedback on what you want/like/hate about quilt alongs, leave me a comment. I’d love your input!

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#sewingforluke continues

One of the many factors that went into the “should I stay or should I go now?” decision was my ability to work with Luke Haynes. I really adore the guy, I’m an admirer of his creative ways of looking at quilting and I’ve been incredibly grateful for the chance to work with him on several projects. I was pretty sure that if I moved northward, our opportunities to work together would evaporate and I’d have to give up that fun aspect of life in Los Angeles.

But two weeks later, I got the call I’d been waiting for… Luke wanted a little help again. So off we go, on a new yellow and white piece. He shipped me a whole big box full of old clothes and linens that had been cut down into wide strips.

box full of Luke scraps

And I set to work cutting smaller strips out of those.

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There’s a whole pile of white variations, too. I’m stitching them together, cutting them, and stitching them again (you know.. that crazy thing we do when we are quilting).

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I managed to whip up a few that came to the right size, so now that I’ve got the technique down, I can start chain-stitching these crazy fabrics together like a mad woman. I’ve only got 480 of the small squares to make in a week (ha!). If you need me, you’ll know where to find me — right in front of my sewing machine.

Follow along via Instagram: @teresacoates


(Quick health update for those who’ve asked: It was definitely the right move. My lungs no longer hurt and I’m able to run more than a mile straight, outside. In LA, I was getting winded walking through the mall and would have to take periodic rests whenever we walked anyway. I’m feeling much better overall; thank you all for the support!) 

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White on white on white

Recently I had the opportunity to work on yet another quilt for Luke using the Winding Ways traditional quilt pattern. The 72″ x 96″ quilt is made with 10 different variants of white fabric, including sheers, twill, quilting cotton, silk/cotton blend, and more. It made it a challenge to sew, mixing fabric weights, but using spray starch on the lighter-weight fabrics made it much easier to combine them without too much swearing.

So it started with a big stack of cut pieces: 20140421-174128.jpg

And then I sewed and sewed:20140421-174205.jpg

Clipped and sewed: 20140421-174217.jpg

Pressed and stacked: 20140421-174229.jpg

And sewed more: 20140421-174253.jpg

Until it arrived at this: 20140421-174302.jpg

Which looks even better with a little sunshine behind it: 20140421-174314.jpg

 

You might even be able to see it at Luke’s show this Friday at the BluDot in Los Angeles. After that, I think the only place to see it will be in his room–this one he’s keeping. (And I’m a little jealous! I might just have to make another for myself, but with another color, perhaps?)

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Quilt Market Crazies

Quilt Market was this past weekend and in case you’ve never heard of it (and I hadn’t until a couple years ago!),  let me briefly explain: Twice yearly, the quilting industry gathers for a three-plus day convention to offer up a look at the new patterns, tools and fabrics. It’s for the trade, so it’s mostly suppliers setting up booths and shop owners roaming the expansive floor. They put in orders for most of the fabrics they’ll be along with a slew of patterns, gadgets, notions and tools. Let’s just say it is an incredibly vast array of quilting (and some apparel/craft sewing) stuff.

I went there as the editor of WebCents and to find out what’s coming down the pike so I can promote it to the trade association.  Of course, I had to make new clothes for it, including this Simplicity 1652 dress. It’s the second one I made, so I promise to write up a review soon including how I tweaked it the second time around.20130519-095907.jpg

But check it out… it’s not a black or grey dress. That baby is PUMPKIN. I still can’t believe I’m wearing it (and in fact, I washed it and am wearing it again as I type). I am just not a pumpkin kind of girl, but Andi at work suggested it and I figured why the hell not?! I got some of the new Modern Solids from In The Beginning Fabrics after seeing them on the Pink Chalk Fabrics newsletter. I can happily report that it’s lovely fabric to work with, even for apparel. Kudos.

On Thursday I got a sneak peak at booths while they were setting up. I could smell the sod they were laying down in Heather Bailey‘s booth an aisle before I saw it and when I did I was awed. [Forgive the blurry pics.]HeatherBaileybooth.jpgAnd Moda/United Notions had a stunning curtain of stitched die-cut leaves around their booths. I saw it and vowed to make window curtains for myself like this until I remembered that I’d have to cut them all out by hand. Yeah, nice idea but it’s not gonna happen. 20130517-073729.jpgI ran into Luke Haynes and he filled me in on his amazing light-up jacket. I’m not gonna spill the beans, but you’re going to love it when he shares this one with the world. He’s so creative, it blows my mind.20130519-095927.jpg I loved all the embroidery patterns, especially the over-sized ones. Heather did the huge yarn embroidery and Penguin & Fish had these awesome pillows. How freakin’ cute is that hedgehog? Need it, right? Yes, I do. She’s got a book coming out and while I doubt I’ll get to do much for-fun hand-stitching this year, I’m gonna buy it. It’s too lovely to pass up. 20130519-095952.jpgRashida Coleman-Hale had this awesome kid kimono in her booth. Gorgeous, eh? It’s using her new Koi line with Cloud9 Fabrics and I cannot wait to get some for myself and add it to my stack of Rashida fabrics. 20130519-100017.jpgThen there was THE selvage dress–unbelievable and gorgeous. Jodi of Ric Rac was awesome and still happy to talk about this dress that has been all over the blogosphere and now in Portland. :) 20130519-100036.jpgThere was, of course, the after-parties and I made it to a couple. The PMQG and Modern Domestic joined forces and a fantabulous time was had by all. ModDom recently added another space onto the shop, which means more party space and more classroom space, too.

It was a fun conglomeration of folks from around the industry: folks from Threadbias and Craftsy, book publishers, quilt designers, fabric designers, longarm quilters, sewists, bloggers and teachers. 20130519-100109.jpgThere was so much more to see and do and I’ll be sure to throw some more in here and there for you, but I have to save the good fabric pics for work (sorry!).

So after four harried days of prep, dinners, Schoolhouses and Market, I’m done. My feed ache. My back is a mess and I’m overwhelmed by the number of people I met, hugged, exchanged cards with and chatted up. The introvert in me is ready to be back in control any time now.

Have you been to Market before? Worked it? I’d love to hear your take on it.