Beautiful Handmade Jewelry

I think that just coming up with dinner to feed your family every night takes a very high level of creativity and craftiness, but the women in my family have somehow always managed to do that and find time to do their own thing.  My Aunt Kathy has always been one of the most talented artists in our family, plus, when I would visit her house as a kid, she'd buy my sister and I any kind of cereal we wanted, so you know we love her a LOT!

My Aunt Kathy hard at work!
Ten years ago, after studying jewelry design in Italy (how cool is that??), she opened her own shop, Tailored Treasure, and has been going strong ever since.  And when I say strong, I mean, she has been a one woman design and manufacturing factory!  She has so many different, one of a kind, handmade designs and somehow they are all still really affordable!  You can tell she really has a great time creating her different pieces.

My aunt is also a survivor of breast cancer.  This month, October, is Breast Cancer Awareness month and she's donating a portion of the proceeds from her shop to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.  She's also offering free shipping between now and Christmas with the coupon FREESHIP14.

I just ordered a couple of really cool necklaces.  I can't wait till they get here!  Here's what I ordered:

Cool, huh?  I've recently was thinking about how I need a simple necklace, so the hexagon and ring one is exactly what I needed, and how could I pass up silver and rhinestones?  So go over, check out her shop, get free shipping, and some really beautiful, handmade jewelry, all while supporting a great cause!


Inspired by Amish Quilts? Um, YEAHH!

Recently, the modern quilt guilds of the SF Bay area were approached for an exciting new project.  The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles will be showing Ohio Amish quilts from the collection of Darwin D. Bearley and guilds were invited to submit Amish inspired quilts of our own for a simultaneous show, called Amish: The Modern Muse, curated by Joe Cunningham.

Wow!  I didn't even know where to start designing because there's so much inspiration to choose from!  Well, I finally narrowed it down to wanting to work with triangles, so I chose the traditional Railroad Crossing pattern to work with.  I decided that I wanted to incorporate scraps and pieces of up-cycled fabric, so I visited SCRAP, a great re-use store in San Francisco that carries a huge variety of donated fabrics, and picked up a lot of small pieces of black fabric scraps.  As much as I love the wonderful prints of new fabric designs, I really enjoy the process of making quilts the way they were originally made - patchworked with small bits and pieces left over from other things that were too small for making clothes, but too dear to throw away.

Once I'd but the quilt top together, I decided to use a wool batting, as I've been a bit obsessed with Welsh quilts lately, as well as Amish.  The wool batting gives the quilt some loft, so that when I quilted the borders, the design really shows through.  This is important on Welsh quilts, because they are often wholecloth, so the entire design comes from the quilting alone, plus, they have a lot of wool there!  Welsh quilting is AMAZING - kind of a bit chunky and archaic looking and so much fun! If you are on Facebook, follow Jen Jones' Welsh Quilt Centre as she occasionally posts photos of her collection.  Drool!

So anyway, enough chatter about my quilt.  Here's what it looks like!

X Quilt
X Quilt, back
X Quilt, quilting detail

The Modern Muse show is curated, so it's possible that my quilt won't make the cut, but I've seen some of the other East Bay Modern guild member's entries, and I know it's going to be amazing!  If you want to check it out, the Amish show opens on November 15th and runs until March 1st.  If you can't make it to San Jose, you might want to get a copy of Darwin Bearley's book, Antique Ohio Amish Quilts.  He sells it personally through his E-bay site, so you could even ask for a signed copy.  That's what I did!  It's a beautiful book!


In wrapping up, I'm excited to announce the winner of the Kim Andersson's Tidal Lace fat quarter collection is Nancy! Kim was on the Modern Sewciety podcast a few weeks ago talking about her design inspirations and you can really get to know her a little bit just by listening!

Tidal Lace Blog Hop and a Give-Away!

Who's my favorite expat Aussie? Kim Andersson of I Adore Pattern!  I met Kim awhile back when the fledgeling East Bay Modern Quilt Guild was still meeting in a coffee shop in the early days of the Modern Quilt Guild movement.  She has a great sense of humor and always has on the biggest smile.  I'm so happy I get to see her at least once a month for guild meetings!

We were all very early supporters of her fabric design career, (as everyone who has seen a Kim Andersson quilt knows - she does great design!) and followed her progress on the The Printed Bolt fabric design competition without surprise when she did spectacularly.  I kept gushing that her Tidal Lace print was amazing and I MUST have it...and then guess what -- she got Windham Fabrics to print it for me!  Isn't that the best?!!!


Of course, when her first fabric line came out, I snatched it right up and today I get to participate in her first blog hop, which is my first blog hop, too!  I decided to make a Mariner's Compass floor cushion, as it seemed fitting with the sea theme and I LOVE paper piecing.  (My dog keeps eyeing it lovingly, so it might go from fancy floor cushion, to pampered pet bed...we shall see...he's been stealing the cat's bed a lot lately.)

Photos by Danielle Collins
Want to make one of your own?  I'll have a pattern coming out soon and if you'd like to win a Tidal Lace fat quarter bundle of your very own, enter a comment below telling me what cool project you've got in mind for the collection.  I'll pick a winner at random on September 30th!

Win your own Tidal Lace fat quarter bundle!
In the meantime, check out the other posts on the blog hop to see more exciting projects, or check out Kim's beautiful look book!

Monday, September 15  -   Windham Fabrics / Kim Andersson - I Adore Pattern
Tuesday, September 16  -   Erin Harris - House on Hill Road / Amy Gunson - Badskirt  / Cath Mosley on Instagram
Wednesday, September 17 –  Anne Sullivan - Play Crafts / Stacey Day - Stacey In Stitches
Thursday September 18th –  Adrianne Ove - Little Bluebell / Terri Carpenter - The Quilted Fox
Friday September 19 - Pati Fried - See How We Sew / Amanda Hohnstreiter - My Sewcial Hour
Saturday September 20 - Ann Haley - Sew Messy / Madeleine Roberg - Domestic Strata
Sunday September 21 - Cal Patch - Hodge Podge Farm / Rebecca Ringquist - Drop Cloth
Monday September 22 - Alicia Wietholter - Swoon Patterns / Stacey Sharman - Peppermint Pinwheels
Tuesday September 23 - Jen Carlton Bailly - Bettycrockerass / Miriam Blaich - The Berlin Quilter

I'm in a book!

Oooh!  It's so exciting to get presents in the mail, especially when it's a book and it's even more special when I have a hint as to what's inside! On Friday, I received a copy of Joen Wolfrom's new Color Play book.


This a great re-issue of her very popular Color Play book from 2000.  She contacted me awhile ago to see if she could include my Silk Indian Orange Peel quilt in the book - and here it is - practically on the first page!


I must confess that although I love working with color, I haven't delved too much into color theory.  I've made my share of color wheels in various art classes in the past,  but overall, I've preferred to pick colors intuitively.  Looking through Joen's book though, makes me want to get a little more technical!  Here's an example of one of the "color lessons" in the book:

Doesn't that look like fun? 

P.S. Joen also has a color class on Craftsy, if you're interested!

Lovely Tidal Lace

Yay!  My friend and fellow East Bay Modern Quilt Guild member, Kim Andersson, of I Adore Pattern has a new fabric line!  Called Tidal Lace, it's full of fun and whimsy and I was lucky enough to watch her develop her first line from the beginning.  I'm a huge fan!

Working in top secret, I made a floor cushion for the Tidal Lace lookbookhttp://www.windhamfabrics.net/cgi-bin/fabricshop/catalog.cgi?brochureID=19.

Compass Floor Cushion, photo by Danielle Collins

The lookbook is filled with tons of other wonderful projects.  I especially love the star fish hairclips and the starfish pin cushions, but those are just what first pops out at me.  There are so many creative uses for these prints!

The Tidal Lace Lookbook. 

Congratulations, Kim!  I can't wait to see what comes next!

Pop Rox!

I adore candy.  I adore fabric.  So, a line of fabric inspired by one of my favorite candies?  Heaven!  My friend, Carol Van Zandt, has come out with a new line of fabric called Pop Rox and I was able to get my greedy hands on some of it.  There are two color ways, and the one I used to make my quilt is nice and bright, but I can't wait to make a new top out of one of the darker prints.

Here's what I've been working on...

In progress...
...almost done...
Finished top!
Now, I just need to find the time to quilt it up!

At the same time I was working on this quilt, I agreed to do a demo at the Voices in Cloth quilt show hosted by the East Bay Heritage Quilt Guild.  I decided to demonstrate how I put together blocks without using a ruler or pattern. For the demo, I put together this quilt with some of the extra bits of solids that I had left over from my Pop Rox project.  All of these blocks were done without any measuring!

 

To see pictures of me cutting and sewing like a maniac, as well as other pictures from the show, click here!


Stitch Modern 2014 Is Here!

This is the 3rd year that my guild, the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild, will be holding their annual show at the Piedmont Center for the Arts.  It's a lot of fun and we have a great time showing off our latest works.  I just got back from hanging the show, and as it does every year, it looks amazing!  If you live in the Bay Area, make sure you come and check it out. All our events are open to the public and many are free of charge, unless otherwise noted. You can find out more below, or on our website.

Stitch Modern 2014
January 31 – Feb 23rd at
Piedmont Center of the Arts
801 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont, CA.
Gallery Hours: 12pm-3pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Jan 31st: 6pm-9pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts
Opening Reception

Feb 8: 12:30pm – 1pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts
Needle Ceremony- An informal memorial service for our spent sewing needles and pins based on the Japanese Hari kuyou ceremony which happens on February 8th. Bring your spent machine, hand sewing, and pins and join us in celebrating our tools and their service.

Feb 8: 1pm – 2:30pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts
Panel Discussion, Beyond the Bed: Exploring Quilts in the Public Eye – Please join us for a moderated discussion highlighting how quilts have gone from being household objects to objet d’art.

Feb 9: 12:00pm-2:30pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts
Family and Community Activity Day – includes quilting demos

Feb 13: 7pm-8:30pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts $5
Lecture: Ben Venom & Roderick Kiracofe

Feb 16: 12pm-3pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts
Sew Day with the East Bay Modern Quilt Guild

Feb 23: 9:30am-4pm, Piedmont Center of the Arts $75
Workshop: Round Robin Improv with Sherri Lynn Wood. SOLD OUT!

Want a sneak peak at the my quilt? Here it is right after we finished hanging the show with my happy little helper.  (Mine is the double wedding ring.)



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