Monday, July 16, 2018

Controlled Scrappiness Versus Hot Mess Scrappiness

I've been spending long days at Camp Oda May, working on my summer quiltalong project. Join us over at the Moda Bakeshop! I am just thrilled with how the Color Cuts are working out in my quilts. The grays add enough contrast to the low volumes without overwhelming the softness of the lighter fabrics.

I love the look of scrap quilts, but I always strive for "controlled scrappiness" and try to avoid what I call "hot mess scrappiness." Controlled scrappiness, as the term suggests, involves some planning and thought, not just reaching into the scrap bin and pulling out whatever happens to be in there. If you have a defined style, controlled scrappiness can be easy to achieve, but for those of us who work with lots of different types of fabric, some editing is required to avoid the hot mess look.

Here are some of my tips for controlled scrappiness:

Consider your color palette. You don't necessarily have to limit yourself to three or four colors, but you should decide what look you're aiming for (muted? bright? specific colors?). It's okay to have some variety within that palette--that is, every green you use should not be exactly the same shade. In fact, visual interest is increased with some variety in tone. But throwing in a random color may look jarring. If you use all pastels and then add a lime green fabric, it's going to look out of place.

Think of your fabrics as families, and consider what families will work together best in the project. There is some wiggle room here, as fabric styles overlap a good bit (and good neutrals and background fabrics nearly always can work), but you probably don't want to mix Civil War prints and uber modern prints. They likely won't jive well together.

Consider outliers carefully. If you use all tone on tone prints, and then throw in one multi-colored print, the viewer's eye will go right to that multi-colored print. If that's your goal, great. But, if not, reconsider that multi-colored print. Other examples of outliers would be one fabric with a gray background when the rest have cream backgrounds. You can also address outliers by adding fabrics in the same category as the outlier so that it's no longer all by its lonesome in the quilt.

Definitely mix scales. You should have large, small and medium scale prints in your project. 

Don't get too matchy-matchy. Scrappy quilts benefit from some variation. If your prints are too similar, your project will look too sterile.

More is more. When in doubt, add some fabrics. After all, the goal is scrappy!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Heading to Camp

I never had the opportunity to go to summer camp when I was young. I think it would have been a blast! This summer, I get the joy of being a camp counselor at what might be the most awesome summer camp of all time--Camp Oda May! I've been working behind the scenes with some other talented designers to plan a summer quiltalong for Moda's Bakeshop. We had such fun planning the project and being part of such a collaborative effort was a joy.

Camp has just kicked off, so there is still plenty of time to join in the fun. Start here, and pack your bags for Camp Oda May!

My quilt is going to be done in grays and low volume fabrics, mostly from Moda's Color Cuts, a fun curated selection of fabrics from their most recent lines. I love low volumes, and I'm excited to play with such a fun mix of fabrics. I threw in some fat quarters from my stash to make the quilt extra scrappy. Happy sewing, campers!


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Podcasting!

I made my podcast debut! I had the opportunity to chat with Pat Sloan on the American Patchwork and Quilting podcast about my work with the Moda Bake Shop and my love of quilting. It was a blast!


For the uninitiated, podcasts are basically radio shows. There is a huge variety of styles--some are serialized, with new episodes building on previous ones. Others are standalone episodes. Some are audio versions of familiar shows (the Daily Show has a truncated version in podcast form called the Ears Edition). Topics are wide-ranging, and there is truly something out there for everyone, including sewists! I love listening to podcasts while I sew. It's a great way to entertain yourself while creating. I find wireless headphones are particularly handy, as there's no cord to get tangled around (or accidentally cut!). 

I enjoy several quilting and sewing related podcasts. Besides American Patchwork and Quilting (long a favorite!), I like While She Naps, Modern Sewciety, and Sit & Sew Radio. For non-crafting podcasts, my favorites include Freakonomics, TED Radio Hour, From Scratch, StoryCorps, and Endless Thread.

I listen to podcasts on my phone through the iPhone app, but there are several other platforms to use. Most podcasts are free to enjoy and you can even subscribe and have new episodes automatically download to your device.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Bag Lady

I've been on a pouch making kit lately. Small projects are super fun to make and it's satisfying to work on a slightly different skill set. Most pouches don't use a huge amount of fabric, and I've found they can be great to use bits leftover from larger projects, especially small bits left from precuts and the large strips leftover from backing quilts.


























I usually have long, four to six-inch strips of fabric left after trimming the excess away from the quilt, and I found that these pieces are great to use for bags and pouches. I often use large scale prints on the backs of quilts, and it can be hard to find a use for little bits of large-scale prints, but they work beautifully as the lining of pouches.

I recently made a couple of Sew Lux's Brickyard Double Zip Pouch. Rather than a mini-charm pack, I used some bits leftover from a layer cake for the pieced front. And I had plenty of trimmed backing fabric to use as the lining fabric. All I needed was a coordinating solid, some interfacing and two zippers to complete the pouch!




















The pattern was a delight to use. Clear directions with clean illustrations enhanced the creative design of the pouch. I will certainly be making more of these pouches and will likely be buying more pouch patterns from Sew Lux Fabric in the future!




















Please note: I purchased the pattern from Sew Lux for my personal use. No consideration was given and these opinions are my own.


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

On My Way

I'm off to a weekend quilt getaway shortly and thought I'd share my packing list. Did I miss anything? Hope you enjoy your quilting-related travel as much as I do!

Sewing
Sewing machine
Quarter inch foot
Walking foot
Free motion foot
Any specialty feet required
Bobbins
Thread (including different colors for different projects)
Sewing machine needles
Foot pedal
Power cord
Extension cord
Extension table for machine
Lint brush
Sewing machine oil

Cutting
Scissors
Thread snips
Rotary cutter
Extra blades for rotary cutter
Self healing mat
Quilting rulers
Seam ripper

Pressing
Iron
Portable iron mat
Seam roller
Spray starch

Pinning
Pins
Needles

Marking
Disappearing ink fabric pen
Mechanical pencil
Pen
Notebook

Miscellaneous
Patterns
Portable light
Sweater
Ziploc bags
Water bottle
Snacks