Author Archives: shannon

patchwork interior

patchwork interior

The view from my couch.

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some recent quilting

This is Shannon, the elder in this blog collaboration. I haven’t blogged here (or anywhere) in so long, that in the meantime, flickr has totally changed! I am finding the new interface frustrating but I will prevail, and so here is a post. This process has taken enough energy that I am almost as pleased as if I spent hours in the studio. Here goes!

I took out a loan this summer to buy a new machine. I love my 1926 Singer 99 but I could not get it or any of my other machines to properly free motion quilt. After deliberating for months, literally, I made the decision to buy a Juki TL 2010q! (I did cry a tear or two when I boxed up the Singer.)
we are still in the courtship phase but so far I have been pretty much over the moon about my new helpmeet.
I did the right thing and made a sewing machine cover.
sewing machine cover!
This was a block, or a slab, that I made during a practice session, and didn’t seem to correspond with any other ideas, so it went into this piece. I don’t totally love it or anything, but it is serving a necessary function.

detail of some of the not-great free motion quilting I did here:

sewing machine cover detail
so, you see.

Happier with this practice piece, in which I quilted around an existing lotus pattern on a scrap of weathered linen:
free motion lotus

It seems to be all about the repetition, and I have been sitting down to draw on a regular basis (although not as much as I could be.)

One thing I am finding is that I do not yet have a signature style when it comes to piecing. Of course I don’t; I haven’t produced that much work within this discipline! But still, with my free time is so fractured, it would be nice to find my voice, somehow, miraculously and quickly. I didn’t come to this with that expectation, though, so I’m not disappointed!
The closest I have gotten so far to my vision of my quilting style is with the half square triangle psychedelic quilt top.
psychedelic half square triangle top
I am not sure how to quilt it so for now it reamins a top.

My studio is a shambles right now, but I had a sweet moment of organization and display earlier in the summer. a corner:
summer studio

Next post will feature a scrappy trip around the world, modified, and in baby quilt form…
stay tuned!

wip and new fabric!

I have been working slowly but surely on the lap quilt for kim.
my studio today
This is a nice shot of my studio area. Or at least the entrance to it. I have carved out space in a cluttered home to work in. I am liking this top so far. I really like the some of moda’s puzzle pieces line. The greys are really warm, dove grey you might say? The idea of bright colors on neutrals is one I will explore further.

roman stripes

I am so new to quilting, and entirely self-taught. This is my second project with half square triangles, and I want to practice them more and more until I get those darn points sharp every time! The situation is improving with practice. I sew such wobbly seams.
After such a long break from the internet, it is really exciting to read blogs again and gain inspiration. I look forward becoming a more skilled quilter!

I did get a piece of new fabric:
frippery
This from andover fabrics Frippery line designed by Thomas Knauer. There is some of that line in the above project, it looks like little eggs…
I couldn’t resist cruising Hawthorne Threads’ sale page the other night. I am on a super budget (for me), but that’s what several shots of herbal liqueur will do to you, I guess. Hawthorne Threads has such super fast shipping! I got 5 yards of this bad boy in the mail within two days. And that’s across country! So, I am figuring this will be a back someday. I did find a pretty neat piece of apparel fabric at the thrift store for you, Alice, but I don’t have a pic of it yet so next time.

progress report

meander

Finally! I finished the quilting on the Candy Coated quilt Alice and I have been making. Quilting this, I used a free motion foot for the very first time, and so, it is definitely wonky! Embarrassingly so, in spots. I mean, I didn’t even start with the darning foot! I was using the walking foot for awhile, until I realized that was inane, and I was going to be insane by the time I was done. I got some tips here and elsewhere, and while I knew that I should practice first, I was impatient, and besides, when it comes to quiltmaking, I am somewhere in between the first and second stages in this article by The Sometimes Crafter. So I just went for it. It was really fun, once I figured out how to postition my hands to reduce the strain. After awhile, I stopped trying so hard to follow a “pattern” and let myself go, get a bit more swirly, doodle, if you will.
I will keep practicing, probably on some smaller pieces. It will be okay!

I will have more pictures and more analysis once I have the whole thing bound. Or at least the binding sewn onto one side. I think I may ship it off to Alice at college and she can handsew the edges. bwahahaha!

things to keep one warm and dry

I want to get all of the projects that Alice and I got done during her winter break documented before too much time elapsed. Here is a step in that direction.
Determined to get at least one quilt done, we started and finished this nine patch:

nine patch

When she arrived, she had with her a beloved quilt that she was given after the house fire, but that had seen much better days. There were spots that were transparent due to lack of batting. It was a nice quilt, done in maple leaf blocks of green with a main fabric of solid lemon yellow. We think that it dated from the fifties, to judge by some of the fabrics. Anyhow, it was clear that we needed to get that quilt stabilized somehow, and what better way than to use it as batting?
As neither of us have much experience with complex piecing, it was decided we would make a nine patch, and we sorted through my not-very-extensive stash for just the right fabric. I have stashed a lot of greens and turquoises since I have scrappy projects in mind or underway using those. And I happened to pick up some very unassuming ecru on sale, a lot of it. so there you have it.
We both cut, and she did all of the piecing and made the back. (You can’t really tell, but the centers are a really pretty wonky red polka dot, and so are the small squares on the back.)

pieced back
I love Joel Dewberry’s Floral Drop pattern, and bought a bunch of it when I discovered Hawthorne Threads, many yards in the above colorway, because I knew I would want to use it for a back. Before I had even made a quilt back! I was thinking ahead in the summer when the tips were rolling in! I knew there was a reason I spent hundreds of dollars on fabric, even though I had no time to sew…

I did very simple straight line quilting, using the walking foot for the first time, and then we bound it in more Floral drop, this time red. (Keep your eyes peeled here for an upcoming dress project using that fabric. Coming from Alice’s side of this blog.) The red binding draws attention to the red in the center squares. It’s awesome!

a bit of binding

I was going to post about the parka that Alice made for Mark, but I feel like I should leave that for her to talk about. Here is a picture of it though!

gore tex parka

miscellaneous

alice piecing on the singer
sewing action shot, and the little country studio.

Shannon here. I wanted to share a project that I just started, one that I have been dreaming about for a long time, but have lacked the confidence to undertake, due to its duration. Knitted leggings, on size 0 dpns. Yeah bud!
I am starting with the ringwood pattern stitch from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks, That done up in some merino sock yarn (dyer’s name forgotten by now), and then I switched to Poems sock yarn, one of those yarns that emulates the Noro color effect. You can see the massive increases there, in order to get a harem pant-style leg. These leggings are going to be made up of sock yarn remnants, so get ready for some chaotic color blocking!
freeform legging

Over winter break, Alice and I completely finished one quilt (as yet unblogged), got almost done with this quilt, and started a third, smaller quilt for a friend of mine. It was regular quilting bee, and there will be posts to come about it, I promise.

Also, exciting news is as of last night, no one had moved into the other half of the quad at Alice’s dormitory. Is there a squatted sewing studio in the futurre? Here’s hoping!