Finished | Balancing Act

Finished | Balancing Act
Do you ever have trouble coming up with the words to describe a quilt finish? What I mean is…have you found yourself so caught up in a project itself, the challenge of taking an idea and making it visual, that you forget about documenting the process? Putting nose to the grindstone and working straight through until it’s done, leaving you breathless and without words when the end result is more than you could have hoped for? That’s a little bit how it was with this quilt.

It started out as a Quilt Design a Day exercise, with a pre-selected palette based on this Design Seed. Having just purchased a set of quarter circle templates from Jen Carlton Bailly, I was anxious to use them in a design. It seemed like fate that this day’s palette was that little bowl of buttons — perfect for my experiment!
HuesBowled 7-6-14

After sketching out the design, I knew immediately that I wanted to make it!! The colors were a bit muted for my liking, so armed with my Moda Bella Color Card, I promptly got to work mixing and matching to brighten it up a bit. When this lovely stack arrived on my doorstep, I literally dropped everything and began cutting out all the pieces!
When fabric comes in the mail, apparently the best thing to do is drop everything and cut out a new quilt. Another #qdad in the works!

And that’s when it gets hazy. ha ha! I went to a sewing retreat that weekend and spent the majority of the time working on the top, but have no pictures other than when I finished piecing it.
In Progess | Balancing Act

I remember it being fun, yet challenging. Most was a breeze to piece, however, several overlapping sections required a bit more thought to recreate the original sketch. That’s one of my favorite parts of the process…all that figuring. I knew I could do it,  but deciphering the “how” was what made this project so incredibly fulfilling.
Finished | Balancing Act | Texture

It’s quilted with dense straight lines in a minty color that blends so well with all the fabrics. I really wanted the design to pop and felt this type of neutral quilting would add texture without taking away from the intended visual impact. Another design feature that puts this quilt over the top for me is the matched binding!! While time intensive, the end result is worth every single laborious moment.
Finished | Balancing Act | Detail

All in all, this was such a joy to work on. It reminded me of all that I have on my plate as a wife, mom, friend, quilter…all those responsibilities that are stacked on top of one another. It’s a true Balancing Act to keep it all running without “dropping any balls” so to speak. Sometimes you have to make room for new things and the old must be carefully removed to keep some sense of equilibrium. I’ve had to do that over the course of making this quilt so it seemed to be the most appropriate name I could give. :)

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed)”
-Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Finished | Balancing Act

Quilt Details:
Finished Size - 58″ x 70″
Techniques – Machine pieced, matchstick quilted with straight lines 1/8″ – 1/4″ apart using a long arm quilting machine, binding stitched down by hand
FabricsModa Bella Solids in Horizon Blue, Blue Chill, Blue Raspberry, Thistle, Lavender, White Bleached, Backing in Lizzy House Jewels in White/Blue

WIP Wednesday | Experimentation

Before I show you what I am working on this week, I want to mention that for some reason your comments aren’t making it to my inbox. Blerg! I didn’t realize there had been new comments on the last few posts so I haven’t been able to respond by email, so sorry!! I’m trying to figure out what changed so in the meantime, I am replying back to anyone that commented on each post. :) Hopefully, I’ll get it fixed soon. *crosses fingers*

Now…onto something more exciting! This past weekend, I spent some time with friends for an extended sewing weekend it a cute little log cabin near Houston. It was such a blast! So much fun hanging out, eating good food, sewing up all kinds of pretties. My bestie came with, but she doesn’t sew…she draws and paints and does all kinds of cool stuff with markers. There was one sketch in particular that caught my eye…and someone laid down the Double Dog Dare to see if I could turn it into a quilt.
Melissa's sketch
Never one to turn down a challenge, I immediately started making a list of all the ways possible to transform her sketch into fabric form without using applique. That was my only rule for myself since I felt like that was cheating. ha ha! Yes, I am weird like that.

The biggest hindrance we could see was that light highlighting in the center of each wedge. Recreating that was going to be the key to success. My solution? Create my own “fabric” by sewing all kinds of scraps together in a gradient to create a similar look with the lightest shades in the center then use that for the arcs. Since I happened to have some fabulous corals on hand, I promptly got to work. Here’s where it’s at right now.
Just a little experimenting before our retreat weekend ends...

It will take time to get all the sections made, but I’ll update as I work on it. I’m excited to see this transform into something cool. It could be an utter fail too…but it will be fun watching it happen at least. ;)

Color Inspiration | Cool Tones

I’m getting ready to embark on a little journey with friends in 2015, a quilty journey that I’m sure will be like no other. Inspiration is being pulled from all over into one giant pinterest board of awesomeness. Here’s a peek at what I’ve been pulling together.
Color Inspiration

I can’t get enough off all those blues and greens!! But there’s only so many pictures I can look at before I start to get that itch and I find myself knee deep in my stash looking for just the right mix. Wanna see??
Fantastic Quilt Voyage | Fabric Pull
Fantastic Quilt Voyage | Fabric Pull

I think my favorite little bits are those shot cottons right in the middle. The way the color changes with the light gives me the warm fuzzies. Now that the fun part is over, it’s time to decide the rest of my vision for this stack of goodness.  I’m seeing transparency, gradients, value, and lots of purposeful overlaps using the different shades of color to create depth in a greater design. Mmmmmm Hmmmmmm…yeah, that sounds good.  I’m getting more excited by the minute!


Blogger’s Quilt Festival :: When Oceans Rise

I am so excited to share this finish today!! It has been a labor of love for many months and the end result is more than I could have hoped. When this quilt was designed I had no idea what an impact it would have on me.
When Oceans Rise

Many of us could say we have felt the weight of life’s responsibilities or the heaviness that comes with being so saturated with what everyone else is doing, whether in our craft or in our homes. You know…the whole “keeping up with the Jones’s.” It can be overwhelming to the point that we feel like we are drowning. It can become harder and harder to stay afloat, if you will, without an anchor.

Every time I worked on this quilt, I was reminded of this over and over through a song which inadvertently has became a sort of theme song for this quilt. It is called Oceans, by Hillsong United.

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine

I couldn’t escape the lines from that chorus. How appropriate they were for both what I was working through personally as well as the quilt design itself. Doesn’t it remind you of waves being tossed about? Like there’s a storm about to rage, but it’s not quite there yet? That’s what it looked like to me so I’ve decided to call this one, When Oceans Rise. It’s the perfect reminder to keep my eyes fixed on the One who calms storms and whose peace can guard my heart and mind from the negativity that comes when trying to keep up or be someone I’m not.

Working and processing through life’s everyday challenges through a tangible, creative project was so powerful. Don’t you love it when that happens? I hope to have many more of these types of quilts in my future!

Since I happened to finish this during Blogger’s Quilt Festival, I’ve decided to enter it into the Original Design category. I’ve never participated before, but have enjoyed the entries of year’s past from afar. I do hope you will go check out some of the other amazing creations being entered. There is so much inspiration to be found!

Quilt Details
Finished Size: 50″ x 60″
Design: Original Design during Quilt Design a Day challenge – More info here.
Techniques: machine pieced; matchstick/straight line quilted vertically across quilt using long arm quilting machine
Fabrics: Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman in Silver, Pacific, Water, Alegria, and Lake; Timeless Treasures Sketch in Pool for backing