Friday, September 26, 2014

Amused Inspiration

I've been continuing to play with the possibilities of the EPP block that I showed in my last post. I'm calling the block "Porch Steps" and I came up with so many possible quilt designs, with just this one block, that I had a hard time deciding in which design to invest my time. 

(Oh, if only there were enough hours in the day to sew every design option!)

But it was after a fun trip to Knoebels Amusement Park with Hubby, (first time there without kids!) that I knew for certain which direction to take.

Who could help being inspired by the fun colors and the turning, twirling 
of everything that one finds in such a place? 

Certainly not me!

(Which coincidentally is exactly what I say when anyone wants me to ride one of theses stomach turning, world spinning, vertigo inducing things!)

 Now that I had settled on a direction, fun colored Grunge fabrics were selected.

Paper templates pieces were cut, covered in fabric and stitched into the blocks.

Coded pieces and helpful binder clips helped me stay organized and hold it all together.

Blocks were stitched together.

And a sigh of happy amusement was uttered when I saw it all come together,
reminding me of my my happy inspiration.

Now I just have to quilt her and bind her and I think create a PDF pattern for her!
(And I think I shall call her "Ferris Wheel" as it's a ride that I actually enjoy!)

And as for my next project, I already know what fabrics I shall be using...

These oh so lovely Cirrus Solids from my friends at Cloud9 Fabrics
I was so happy when I first heard that they were coming out with their own line of organic cross-weave fabrics, and floated on my own cloud 9 when they generously sent me this gift bundle. 

By the way, cross-weave's belong to the same family as shot-cottons and chambrays and the names often get used interchangeably, so it can be confusing. All three types share the same trait as having different colored weft and warp threads. Technically, (at least from my understanding) chambrays traditionally used white as one of those colors, (think of those pale blue chambray oxford men's shirts). However I have bought fabrics listed as chambray's that had no white in them at all, and were more of a traditional shot-cotton. Cross-weaves and chambrays generally tend to have a more quilt weight hand to them, while shot-cottons traditionally are more light weight, and have a lovely drape to them, but again, I have bought shot-cottons that were more quilt weight. Most cross-weave fabrics that I have used, (including these Cirrus Solids beauties) have a more subtle color variation to them, meaning that while the weft and the weave are different colors, the difference is minimal. Most, (but again not all) shot-cottons that I have used have more of a defined difference in the weft and warp colors, creating an almost iridescent color about them. All three however have a depth and interest then any regular solid colored fabric where warp and weft threads are the same.


Many thanks to those that gave me useful info on my last post concerning the stiffness of some hand dyed fabrics and the difficulty I was finding in hand sewing with them, I truly appreciate the info!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Block Play

If you have been following along with my last couple of posts, you know that I have recently fallen in love with EPP, (English Paper Piecing). I'm continuing to explore the design possibilities of combining this method with creating new blocks, and seeing how those blocks create various designs.

My brain is joyfully being stretched in new directions and I am having great fun playing with block possibilities using this hand stitching technique.

Above is a block that I have recently been working on. I picked some lovely hand dyed fabrics that I bought at my local fabric shop to use, and while I love the effect, I did find that the fabrics were a wee bit stiff, slowing the hand sewing down. 

Question: Is it just me, or do others find hand dyed fabrics, as beautiful as they are, also a bit stiffer to stitch through? And if so, why are they stiffer, even after washing? Is it the mordant used? Can you do something to soften them up? I have experienced this before, and am just wondering... is this my imagination, or do others experience this as well? Would love to hear your thoughts and tips!

Here is what the block looks like repeated 4 times. I am crazy about the large center diamond effect created when the blocks are combined!

Very anxious to explore this block in other colors, and also have several more blocks that I want to begin playing with. Now, if I can only figure out how to squeeze more sewing time into an already too short 24 hour day... !