Monthly Archives: January 2020

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After a slow start to the season when I didn't have time to participate in the first challenge, I'm happy to share my completed quilt for the Project QUILTING Team Colors challenge.

Now, I don't have strong sports team affiliations, so I had to think a bit before getting started on my project. But with a one week deadline, there isn't much time to think. I could have gone with Team Gryffindor, Team Jacob, or some other literary or art reference. In the end I decided to pick a sports team with colors I like. ;-) So, I chose the local San Jose Sharks (ice hockey). Teal and black for the win! I pulled everything used on the front of my quilt from previously used scraps. 100% of my project is from stash (probably common in a one week challenge!). You just can't go wrong with black, white, and one color as a palette.

With only the slightest of planning in my Planned Improv, I knew I would do one improv log cabin for the mini quilt. I opted for the teal (Christa Watson) print in the center since I felt that was the closest to the Sharks color. I pieced a shark fin of the same fabric into one of my strips. Beyond that there wasn't a plan for color placement, and I opted for wonky with regard to my strips. When I started in the middle I went clockwise around the center piece for the first eight strips before that broke down. I've really been enjoying Cassandra Beaver's improv blocks, especially her skinny strips. I included a couple in my log cabin. My only other conscious consideration was that I like high contrast, so I tried to avoid putting fabrics next to each other that blended.

Next up, thread and quilting. I chose Aurifil 50wt Light Turquoise (#5006) and Dark Turquoise (#4182) with a plan to use a variety of motifs in the different strips and start with the dark thread in the center and swap to light closer to the edges. I consulted three books for quilting motif ideas (affiliate links):

I especially like the Shape by Shape books for this because the book is arranged by shape of space you are quilting and they include borders as a section. In the end each piece of fabric in my quilt had a unique motif.

I am always so happy when I take the time to do more detailed quilting. Perhaps this is an indication that I should slow down and do more of it. I kept my quilt to 16.5" square so that I would have time to quilt the life into it. Much bigger and I would have opted for "get it done" quilting. ;-)

I used a fat quarter from my stash for backing and two corner triangles for easy hanging (label on one). The easy choice for binding was a black solid since I had remnant binding already made. Score!

Improv Log Cabins is a workshop I've started offering for 2020. There are so many ways to improv a log cabin. This piece has me considering a series of black, white, and one color improv log cabin mini quilts. The real question is, what color do I do next?

I've linked up with Project QUILTING 11.2. View all the projects there for the Team Colors challenge. (For those of you who have voted it past years, there is no voting this year.)

I'm also linking up with Beauties Pageant, TGIFF, Peacock Party, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Free Motion Mavericks, and Off the Wall Friday.

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First, a reminder to link up to my first monthly Show Me Something linkup... Show Me Something Purple! You can find all the details in that post, but in short, I'm inviting you to share 1-3 new or old finished projects that fit the monthly theme. While I'm writing this we already have 38 pleasing purple projects linked up so far this month. One week left to linkup your project. That's even plenty of time to start and finish something new. :-)

Now onto my latest purple finish...

The last holiday gift I made was this little Open Wide Zippered Pouch. No secret that this is one of my go to patterns, especially for gifts. This one I made for my 12-year-old niece. I optimized to use as much of my remnant of this fabric as possible, so this pouch landed halfway between a small and a medium.

I decided to quilt the outer panels. I'm excited about Aurifil's new Color Builders boxes. I've used these palettes as inspiration to find the gaps in my thread collection (mostly the lighter colors). Of course, I already have the purples. :-) I pulled the three Amalfi Purple colors in 50 wt. for consideration: Lilac (#2562), Violet (#2520), and Medium Purple (#2545). I chose the Violet for my quilting. I considered a crosshatch quilting motif, but opted for diagonal lines in just one direction. I marked my first line with blue tape on each panel so I'd be sewing at the same angle on both pieces and then I used the edge of my foot as a guide to sew parallel to these lines to fit the panel. I opted for irregular spacing. So forgiving!

Once I was done with the quilting I was super underwhelmed. I had chosen the purple that blended in perfectly with my fabric. So I decided to add more lines of quilting in Lilac and Medium Purple. I think that while subtle, the three different thread colors added a dynamic quality to the quilting.

I lined the bag in a white on white print. I like a light lining to be able to easily find things in a pouch or bag.

My niece loved it and immediately moved some of her art supplies into the pouch. :-)

 

Thank you for visiting. Be sure to hop over to Show Me Something Purple to linkup your projects and to check out the dozens of purple projects shared by others.

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I'm writing today as part of the Aurifil Artisan Sew Organized challenge. (My pictures include thread that has been given to me by Aurifil.)

My thread (and all my other stuff) is stored in Ikea PAX wardrobes. These units are super flexible, both in design and in function. I opted for plain white doors on my cabinets and, with the help of my shopping buddy Mel Beach, chose Komplement pull-out shelves for thread and a few other tools. I added Komplement clear dividers on my thread shelf to help organize.

While I love the aesthetics of a thread rack on the wall, I wanted to protect my investment from exposure to light. (I also keep spools in their factory sealed packaging until I'm ready to use them.) At any given time, there are a handful of spools at my machine or on my table, but the bulk of my collection stays tucked inside my cabinet. It's easily accessible and the pull-out feature of the shelf means I can easily see my whole collection.

The majority of my thread is 50wt since it is my first choice for both piecing and quilting. I've arranged my 50wt thread mostly by color family: pink/red, yellow/orange, green, blue, purple, dark neutrals, light neutrals. The remaining five sections in the front two rows have my other thread by weight. My Aurifloss is kept in a separate container with other embroidery tools. The back row of my thread shelf is where I keep Aurifil brochures and thread which I distribute when I teach.

 

I prefer to match my bobbin color to my top thread color. (In a pinch I'm willing to use something that's close.) Long ago, I decided it was worth the investment in additional bobbins to save myself the time, expense, and confusion of unwinding partially full bobbins when I need a new color. I have two tips for keeping those bobbins organized.

First, I label the bobbin with the Aurifil thread number using a sharpie. It could be erased with a little rubbing alcohol if need be.

Second, I use Bobbin Buddies (affiliate link) to connect my bobbin with my spool of thread. I find they work a little better with a large Aurifil spool compared to the small spool. The smaller size of the opening on the large spools create more tension to hold the Bobbin Buddies in place. That said, both work. On a large spool I loosen the bottom of the spool (it's removable) to tuck in the loose thread to stop it from unraveling.

What are your best organizational tips for thread? Or for other tools in your studio?