Colors of the Ocean Finished

Thank goodness for the break in the semester we had last week, when I made time to work on this project. I am excited to share my finished Colors of the Ocean quilt!

started this project as a part of Cherry’s quilt-along.

I made progress pretty quickly by finishing the top. And then it sat for awhile.

It was wonderful having time over spring break to quilt it and bind it. I love how the straight line quilting turned out. And I adore these colors. I am definitely sold on this modern look of solids and straight line quilting.

A Sunny Spectrum

We have finally taken a turn toward Spring around here with the sun shining more regularly, melting our snow and revealing grass.

I found some tulips peaking up too, which the rabbits have been snacking on, so I covered these new shoots with mesh wire to keep those pesky rabbits from doing more damage.

Bring it on, Mother Nature!

Speaking of sunshine, did you know that Anna Maria Horner has a collection of quilting cotton solids? I knew these fabrics came out at the same time her Little Folks collection was released, but I wonder why we haven’t seen any of these solids in any shops. I know Kona Cotton solids and Moda Bella solids are quite popular, so maybe that’s why stores didn’t pick up another range of solids.

I ordered a stack of 12 fat quarters directly from her shop since I couldn’t find it anywhere else. It’s not a big color range, but the colors included are very vibrant and beautiful. I would love to make this or this just for the fun of playing with these fabulous colors.

I have another set of cheerful voile and cotton fabrics in my stash waiting for the right inspiration. These colors are the perfect pick-me-up for a time of year when we are ready to move from winter to spring, craving sunshine and warmer days.

Turquoise On My Design Wall

Remember a couple weeks ago when I mentioned I was participating in Cherry House Quilts’ quilt-along? I am happy to report that I have been keeping up!

I sewed my columns together last week, but forgot to post pictures of my progress.

This weekend I pieced the quilt top together.

I’m so happy with how it looks so far!

Next up will be basting and quilting. I have no idea how to quilt this beauty, so I’m looking forward to seeing Cherry’s recommendations. I think I  might find some inspiration in here too.

Ocean Colors

I have never been very good at keeping up with quilt-alongs. But this project caught my attention.

Chq-quilt-along small

I love the simplicity of the design. I love the drama it creates.

At first, I considered making that orange version, since we have a blank wall in our guest room that needs a splash of color.

Instead, I thought it would be more refreshing to make a wall hanging inspired by the colors of the ocean.

So far, I have my fabrics picked out and cut. This week, I’m looking forward to seeing the instructions for piecing.

This is the beginning of my efforts to keep my sanity during the latter part of winter, by working on small non-homework projects that I can actually keep up with and stay positive and inspired.

Pink Cross Blocks

Did you see my pink cross blocks in the newest issue of Fat Quarterly?

I was so excited to be able to contribute to the designer challenge, which was to make a cross block using only solids.

When I heard about the challenge to make a cross block, I was vacationing in New York City, where I am always inspired by the architecture. I saw different shapes of crosses in the bricks of those ornate facades. Not just one upright with a horizontal bar intersecting it. Crosses with flair on the tips, like the maltese cross.

My first instinct was to make a block with a cream cross on a brown background to match the architecture of those beautiful buildings. But I’m all about color, so that combination felt a little boring. Then I remembered that Pantone recently named Honeysuckle as the color of 2011, writing that it is a color of courage, confidence and vitality, “a brave new color for a brave new world.” That was exactly the feeling I wanted when I looked at this block. So I pulled pink solids from my stash and found the one closest to Pantone’s honeysuckle, pairing it with a hot pink. Just to satisfy my curiosity, I made a second block with the colors switched. I just knew it would look different!

The editors of this issue did an excellent job creating illustrations for the tutorial I submitted to make this block.

If you’re not already a subscriber to this e-magazine that gets delivered to your inbox quarterly, I encourage you to get this issue. It’s full of great ideas for quilting and sewing with solid fabrics!

Fabric Wish-List

It’s that time of year when we start seeing previews of the new fabric collections being released this fall.

So far, I love these collections:

Tula Pink’s Parisville – I adore the pomegranate colorway, which looks so rich and luxurious. I also love how she always shares her sketching process and her inspiration board.

Jennifer Paganelli’s Queen Street – I love the beachy colors Jennifer uses, and the beautiful tone-on-tone prints, which work well as solids too.

Denyse Schmidt’s Greenfield Hill – I love how much more modern these prints feel than her previous collection. I especially love the geometric prints and the cranberry colorway.

Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush – I finally saw a preview – can’t wait to get that collection too, especially the velveteen prints, which will be perfect for my bag experiments!

I would love to expand the range of my solid stash, so those remain on my wish-list too.

What’s on your fabric wish-list? Any new collections you’re drooling over that I should check out?

Dreaming of Colors

I finally broke down and bought a Kona color chart from Kathy! I have been wanting one for awhile, but they seem to go out of stock so fast. As soon as I noticed she had more in stock, I grabbed one right away.

I have taken several color classes – fabric and art-specific – over the years, so I love playing with the traditional color wheel. I could just stare at all these luscious colors on this big chart for hours. I can see why Ashley brought one with her on vacation!

This color chart is so much bigger than I realized. It opens not just once,

not just twice,

but a third time.

Oh yeah, did you notice I ordered a few solids in spring colors to accompany this chart on its journey to my house?

I don’t have a big stash of solids, but I love working with them in so many different sewing projects. I usually order Bella solids from Anina’s store, but since I was ordering the color chart, I decided to try a small stash of these lovely solids.

While bumming around on my lunch hour this week, I discovered a selection of these very solids at the local Hancock Fabric store. They seemed to have a pretty good range (which didn’t completely fit in the picture above), so I should be able to stock up on a few more as needed. As needed, yah, right! I can’t wait to go back and get more, after I study my chart for awhile longer.

Sunday Stash – Solids

This is my first Sunday participating in Sunday Stash, where you take the time to feature some fabrics in your stash.  There is a button for this group but I can’t get it to work, so I’ll just share the link here for now.

I decided I need more solids in my fabric stash because, well, just because!  Also because a lot of the fabric in my stash is from various collections, so not a very broad stash.  Therefore, I ordered this varied fat quarter pack of Amy Butler’s quilting solids from Sew,Mama,Sew

stash of solidsI like the mixture of rich and soft colors in this set, although the fat quarters aren’t quite big enough to use for borders on a quilt, but it’s good for stash-building and color-building. Maybe I will come up with an idea to make something with just these solids; that would look cool!

I found some warm and some neutral quilting solids in my stash too, which might be more versatile to use in my current project in the works.

quilting solids - neutrals

I think I will definitely use more of the ivory and white solids, so that’s on my fabric stash-building list.