Friday, 16 June 2017

TGIFF :: Rainbow Star Mini Quilt


Hello and welcome if you have popped over for the TGIFF linky party.  This is my first time hosting such a thing so be gentle!

Hello and welcome if you are a regular reader!!  Don't know what TGIFF is?  I have added a button to my side bar and if you click on it you will be taken through to the explanation.

Today I have a recent finish to share with you that I am so excited about ....

In February 2016 I took part in a Rainbow Mini Quilt swap, read more about that here, and it was the first time I really did not want to send my quilt to my partner!  From the day I sent it I wanted to make myself one.  When I got EQ7 in January I decided to design the quilt for practice and then make it ... .for MYSELF!


The squares were cut at 1 1/2" - I have to say I really like that size to work with ....


I love my little portable design wall - it makes me able to visualise how the finished quilt will look ....


When putting the stars together I really liked how these three looked as a block, and especially on point ....


And then onto the quilting part.  Usually this takes a lot of thought and more often than not I end up loading a quilt on the frame without really knowing what I am going to do.  Not this one - I knew exactly because I had done it before ....


I love it as much today as I did the one I made 15 months ago ....


It's a finish that adds another tick to my 2017 FAL Q2 list - hooray!


And because I knew a deadline would help me to get it finished I entered it into the Miniature/Doll quilt category at Quilts UK, Malvern in May.  I was delighted to come 2nd in this category!!!!


Quilt Stats

Finished dimensions:  15" x 15"

Fabric:  patterned prints from stash and Kona White

Wadding:  Warm and White

Threads:  Magnifico in white

Quilting:  handguided longarm quilting incorporating feathers and matchstick quilting along with straight line rulerwork on a Handi Quilter Avante


It's little but it sure packs a lot of texture in!!

I would love to see some of your recent finishes, so if you do have something you would like to share please do link up below.  Getting a finish is great but celebrating that finish with others is wonderful.  Thank you if you do link up and please try to get over to see some of the other peoples' finishes - we all love visitors and comments don't we?


Thursday, 15 June 2017

2017FAL :: Meet the Hosts - June :: Marci Girl Designs

Continuing the introductions of the 2017 Finish-A-Long global hosts this month we have  Jude from Just Jude Designs.  (If you want to see who has gone before then there was Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow in January, Jess from Elven Garden Quilts in February, me in MarchElla from Throw a Wench in the Works in April, Social Media Director Sandra from Studio Sew of Course and Jude from Just Jude Designs in May).  Without further ado .....


Hello!  My name is Marci Debetaz and I blog over at Marci Girl Designs and this month it is my turn to share all about myself as one of the 2017 Global Finish-A-Long hosts.  So here it goes...


Here I am, 4' 11.5" tall, so yeah I'm short and this photo was taken a little over a year ago but I mostly look the same, or at least I like to think so.  I am currently 36 years old in case any of you were wondering because I know I have somewhat of a baby face.  I was born in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, USA but have lived most of my life now in Louisiana.  My family moved a lot when I was growing up, back and forth between Florida and Louisiana to finally settle in Louisiana much to my disliking, because honestly who wants to leave the beach for swampland?  Not me.  Anyways I went to Middle and High School in New Iberia, Louisiana and then attended College in Lafayette, Louisiana (about a 40 minute drive.)  I met my husband in my second year of College, we both were majoring in Industrial Design and we fell in love.  (Oh so sweet!)  So we dated a few years, got engaged and then married all before we finished College.  We graduated College together a semester after the wedding, both with degrees in Industrial Design.  We found jobs, worked, you know, regular married life and then a few years later we bought our first house.


Here is our MAJOR fixer upper 13 years ago when we bought it (though this photo was taken after some serious cleaning up of the yard.)


Here is our home today, and what you can't see on the back corner of this house is the major addition we are adding and have been working on since February of this year, doing ALL of the work ourselves.  We are hoping to be finished by Christmas, but who knows,  fingers crossed.  I had to mention our house because it has been a major focus of all my free time this year, which stinks because I miss sewing and quilting but will totally be worth it when we are done.

Ok, I got off track.  So after we bought our house we had three kids, two boys, 9 and 5 and our little girl who just turned 2.  I don't post about them directly on social media for their privacy but I promise they are super cute.  It was after my first child was born that I really picked up the sewing/quilting bug again.  I say "again" because I grew up sewing and quilting.  My mom did both and taught me.  I started by making Barbie doll clothing, then that turned into small quilts and sewing my own clothes through High School.  Then when I was in College (and falling in love) I didn't have much time for those hobbies and they fell by the wayside.  After my first was born I became a stay at home mom and discovered I had lots of free time during naps.  Thus my hobbies began anew!


I started up my hobby again making handbags and pouches which I quickly realized I had way too many handbags and pouches, so I opened up an Etsy shop.  I had my shop open for a few years until I closed it at the end of 2011 right before my second son was born.  I always had intentions of opening again after his birth but alas it never happened.  I do hope to one day open up my shop but for now I am enjoying sewing for my family and friends.

  
It wasn't long after I started sewing again that I discovered the world of blogs and designer fabric.  Let's just say that was a total game changer for me and the true obsession began.  I decided to start my own blog in February of 2010 and have been doing so on and off ever since.  I use my blog as a form of diary or portfolio of things I have made through the years and though I find the writing difficult I am glad that I push myself to do so because it is so nice to go back and read about my own projects, many of which I have already forgotten about.


I love participating in Quilt and Sew Alongs and the occasional competition (for fun, I don't want to stress about it.)  The above quilt was created for the Emerald Pantone Quilt Challenge (I can't remember the year.)  It currently hangs in my bedroom.  This quilt is my original design and entitled, "Emerald Cut."


I will still occasionally make handbags and pouches, I design my own patterns plus make them from independent pattern designers.  The pouch above is one of my designs.


I make way more quilt tops than finished quilts, sadly I have a huge WIP pile.  The photos above and below are examples of two of these quilt tops awaiting quilting.  The top is a One Block Wonder quilt created from just one large scaled print fabric. The quilt below is another Pantone Quilt Challenge, the color that year was Radiant Orchid, this quilt is also my own design.  It is one of my personal favorites.


In 2014 I was chosen to be a contestant in an online sewing challenge called "Sewvivor."  The bag below was my entry for the very first round, which was nautically themed.  Though I didn't make it past the first round, I made a great new set of online sewing friends and had a ton of fun in the process.


Within the first year or so of blogging I also found Flickr and through Flickr I found out about online Quilting Bee's.  I quickly joined several and have never looked back.  I made friends in those first groups, that I still have today and we are still sewing bee blocks for each other.  Though Flickr isn't as predominant these days, things have shifted over to Instagram and the fun continues.  A few years ago most of my quilting bees were coming to a finish and two of my fellow bee mates decided to create a new hand picked group that they named Bee Sewcial.  The concept of the group is that we stay connected and in touch, use only solids and work in improv.  This is our third year together and honestly one of my favorite things to do every month.  The creativity involved and the friendship is just so fantastic.  At the end of our first year together we opened up the sewing prompts to everyone interested and anyone can now sew along with us using the hashtag #inspiredbybeesewcial.


I guess that about sums of my life.  Stay at home mom to three, in between running the kids to school and nap times I sew and quilt.  I have tried crochet, knitting, tatting, beading and about every other craft you can think of but in the end I always return to sewing and quilting.  I love improv but I also love traditional quilt blocks.  I love to sew clothes, handbags and pouches.  Don't ask me to alter your clothes or to iron like normal people.  It isn't going to happen.  I have a huge pile of WIP's and have been participating in the Finish-A-Long since its inception.  I was thrilled to be asked to host this year and I have been slowly working through that pile.  I do so hope you join us this year!

I'll end my post reminding everyone that in 10 days the second quarter finishes link up opens, you still have time to finish those projects so get to work!

Thank you for joining me today, Marci

Monday, 12 June 2017

Long time no see ....

Hello!!  Remember me?  Where does all the time go?  Hmmmm ...... I've been really busy creating honest.  I have finishes to share and WIPs to show but I need to get back into a rhythm ....



So this is a quick post to let you know that I am very excited to be hosting TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday) this week - see, now I have to have a finish and a blog post done for Friday.  Maybe you have a finish you would like to share too.  This is the first linky party I have hosted so I would love for you to come and join in.

The other thing to mention is that today is the 12 June - which means there is only 18 days left of the month and of Quarter 2 in the Finish-Along.  This is a friendly reminder .... how are you doing with your list?  All finished - that's great ..... Not quite done - have you time to get get a couple of quick ones finished?

Now what could be better - pull one out of the pile, get it finished in the next couple of days and then you can join in TGIFF and get another FAL entry.  You can't say fairer than that!!

Now what photo to share with you?  I haven't downloaded any recently so you will have to click here if you fancy a photo!

See back here soon - with a proper post with photos! x


Saturday, 20 May 2017

2017FAL :: Meet the Host - May :: Just Jude Designs


Continuing the introductions of the 2017 Finish-A-Long global hosts this month we have  Jude from Just Jude Designs.  (If you want to see who has gone before then there was Nicky from Mrs Sew and Sow in January, Jess from Elven Garden Quilts in February, me in MarchElla from Throw a Wench in the Works in April and Social Media Director Sandra from Studio Sew of Course earlier this month).  Without further ado .....

Hi everyone, my name is Judith of Just Jude Designs and it's my turn this month to tell you a little about myself as one of the 2017 Finish-A-Long hosts.



I was born in Northern Ireland, and apart from 7 years living in England, I have lived here all my life. I currently live 5 minutes away from where the famous RMS Titanic was built in Belfast 1911.


I started sewing when I inherited my Nanny Maud's singer treadle sewing machine at the age of 11. I had already been crocheting clothes for my dolls from the age of 9, but now I could sew them blankets too!




When I started high school (11) I took Needlework. On my first day, I walked into the Needlework room and saw it was filled with electric sewing machines, but tucked away in the corner was a Singer Treadle machine! I pleaded with the teacher to let me use it, and then spent the next 3 years making garments on it! The start of my happy place!  


I continued sewing on my Singer Treadle, teaching myself naive patchwork from recycled clothes, curtains and scraps. (I still love working with recycled textiles today!) I made my first little quilt, a pram quilt, when I was pregnant with my first daughter (1995).

 

2 days before my 3rd daughter was born, I turned 30, and my family bought me my first electric sewing machine. I'd been sewing for 20 years and had never used an electric machine! I fell in love with my Brother machine, and then upgraded to a Pfaff Quilt Expression a few years later, which I still use today.



When my youngest daughter started school, I went 'back to school' myself, studying City & Guilds Textile and Design. I thought it was time I learned how to sew and quilt properly! My motivation for taking this 2 year course was therapeutic, a kind of 'play therapy', recommended by my counsellor to overcome depression. It worked!

 

I finished and passed my course and was invited to teach patchwork to a group of women with mental health issues at a local community centre. I didn't even know how to teach patchwork, but I overcame my nerves and quickly started on a new passion for teaching and inspiring others to love patchwork too.

     

For 2 years I taught women suffering from a wide range of mental health problems and saw first hand the therapeutic benefits they experienced after only a few short weeks of sewing. One lady in particular, old before her time, stooped with low self worth and heavily reliant on a walking stick, made her first patchwork cushion and within 6 weeks was coming to class without her stick and walking tall!! Like many others, learning a new skill within a caring community, and having something to show and be proud of, elevated her self-esteem and ignited hope and positivity in many areas of her life.


Over the past 10 years I have continued teaching in different venues, running my own programme of classes and also teaching for others. I also design quilts, cushions and bags for a number of UK based quilting magazines, and sell my patterns via my website, Etsy and Craftsy.


   

As a sole trader it is important for me to connect with other creatives, both professionally and personally. Being part of the quilting blogging community for the past 6 and a half years has been a hugely positive and affirming experience for me, and it has been my privilege to be a part of many bees, swaps and charity groups.

 
Brit Bee 2012  

If you have made it this far, thank you! Thank you for taking the time to read this and being part of Finish-A-Long 2017.

 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Art with Fabric Blog Hop :: A Study in Triangles


I was delighted to be accepted into this round of the Art with Fabric blog hop, especially as I had to pull out last time.  Thank you very much to Alida, at Tweety Loves Quilting, who hosts this event and has inspired me into making my first 'art quilt' ... although truth be told it does look remarkably like a modern quilt!!  The theme this round was 'Women'.



Back in March when perusing my IG feed I saw this image from Jenny at Papper, Sax, Sten and immediately needed to know more about the artist that had inspired her.  Enter Kels O'Sullivan, an Australian artitst whose work I was taken with immediately.


In her own words:

Kels O’Sullivan is an emerging artist with a background in design and illustration. Living and working at Encounter Bay, SA, her natural coastal surroundings of the Fleurieu Peninsula are a constant source of inspiration. Influenced by the discipline of modernism, pattern & textile design of the mid century, her work is a diverse and constant evolution. Symbolising relationships with everyday forms, expressing emotion, reflecting experiences and surroundings through the use geometry, colour, pattern, line and repetition. She is especially interested in the beauty of the abstracted form and enjoys deconstructing shapes to create beautiful, balanced and emotive compositions.
Aside from her fine art pursuits, Kels is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer and is co-partner, at Influx Creative.

I had been having ideas and looking into women artists, although the inspiration piece could have been about women and not necessarily by them, but I was drawn to the beautiful clean, geometric lines of Kels' work and even had the right colour fabric on my shelf to get to work.




I stayed true to Kels' pattern on the top four rows but decided to make it bigger and added on an extra 2 rows.


I pressed all my seams open on the quilt for the first time and it gives a lovely flat finish, although I did notice when quilting that I could catch a glimpse of the stitches.


Now my initial idea for quilting was to replicate the printing Kels had done and change the colour of certain triangles with dense matchstick quilting in a different colour.  However the best laid plans and all that .... my machine is in need of a new part form the States which was not going to arrive in time.  I did some test pieces and realised that I wouldn't be happy with the results at the moment so I had to think of a another plan ....


I wanted to continue the lovely clean lines and decided on straight line ruler work ....




but I also wanted to incorporate some circles in the piece like there are in the original ....



 I had thought I would use a facing for the edges but once it was quilted I realised I may lose some of the triangle points by using that method, so a straight forward double edge binding was attached.




Quilt Stats

Finished dimensions: 36" x 12"

Fabric: Kona cotton in cerise, gum drop, parchment and snow

Wadding: Warm and White

Threads: Glide Cream (20001), Coffee (27504), Mulberry (40528) and Iris (40249)

Quilting: longarm quilted with straight line and circle ruler work and circular freehand feathers on a Handi Quilter Avante


This quilt will be hanging at Quilts UK in Malvern from tomorrow until Sunday, where I entered it in the Small Wallhanging category.

Do go and check out some of the other participants this week:


Wednesday 17 May 2017 

Abigail: http://www.cutandalter.blogspot.co.uk - YOU ARE HERE!!

This is also a finish on my 2017FAL List.

I am also linking up today to Let's Bee Social hosted by Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.