Sunday, 1 May 2016

BeeSewcial - Let's Get Planning

May is my month to be Queen Bee for BeeSewcial. I've known almost from the start what I wanted to  explore with this group. I'm asking my beemates to channel their inner urban planner this month. Our theme is direction.

My inspiration is Stephen Von Worley's maps coloured by orientation. I find his maps fascinating and would love to see what we could create with fabric. I would like each of my beemates to create a couple of neighbourhoods/city areas (2 - approx. 12.5" x 12.5" blocks) or one big neighbourhood/city area (approx. 12.5" x 24.5") so we can build a city.

Like most cities, some neighbourhoods are grids, others partial grids and still others are all curves or some combination of all three. Different areas of a city are planned over time by different people, but they still work together. Applies well to a bee quilt, no?

For some additional inspiration, I some photos I took on the plane to and from California to get a feel of what different cities look like from the air. Google Maps is also great for exploring layout ideas, but feel free to make it up as I did in my test blocks below.

Some guidelines so the blocks can work together:
  • Background - medium to dark greys (no Pepper or Black). You can use one value for the background or several like I did for mine. I used greys in the Kona range from Coal to Charcoal, but it doesn't have to be Kona. 
  • For Stephen's work, roads at approx. 90 degrees to each other have the same hue. For our purposes, the colours within a neighbourhood have the same hue, but can have different values of that hue (great for using scraps). 
  • Please have at least one road leading out of your neighbourhood so I can link it to other neighbourhoods.
  • Aim for roads to be between 1/2"-ish (residential roads) to 2"-ish wide (highways). 
  • For those who would like to give our city some water, which every city or town needs - light to medium greys.
  • I'm not a fan of appliqué and would prefer pieced blocks.
Here are my test blocks:

For anyone who would like to play along, you are more than welcome to do so! Add your blocks to #inspiredbybeesewcial on Instagram. We'd love to see what you do with this challenge. 
Questions? Fire away!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A Capital Swap

I love how the quilting community works. Last year, Robin from the Washington DC Modern Quilt Guild (DCMQG) contacted me about doing a swap between the DCMQG and the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild. Heck ya said my guild mates (okay, I may be paraphrasing).

The challenge was this - DCMQG members would make a pillowcase or mini quilt (approx. 15" square) reflecting Ottawa or Canada for their Canadian partners and the OMQG members would do the same but reflect DC or USA for their American partners.

I have been contemplating an Americanized version of my Happy Canada Day, eh? quilt for some time and thought it might be fun to make a mini one for my partner, Jamie from Busy Bee Quilts (@beacraftygirl on Instagram).

The mini I made for Jamie had magenta, her favourite colour, for the flag stripes. Aqua pairs nicely for the outer star and the big giggle was the Sweetwater Road 15 fabric for the inner star. It has a lot of the U.S. state names on it, which are also streets in DC.

For the quilting, I went with matchstick in the stripes and straight line echoes in the stars. Simple, but I hope, effective.

The back.

I was delighted to receive Jamie's mini quilt. She knew I liked rainbow so she made this awesome rainbow maple leaf mini.

I love the colours paired with the black and white prints. 

I'm not the only one who used Road 15. Great minds... ;)

Jamie sent along these great crab socks too because Maryland (where she is) is known for it's blue crabs. Will have to give them a try some day.

Check out this beautiful backing too!

Thank you Jamie for a gorgeous mini! And thanks to OMQG and DCMQG for a capital swap!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Modern Block Monday - BeeSewcial - Let's Get Comfortable

While January's Linear theme for BeeSewcial was a good challenge, February's theme was a stretch to say the least. Actually, that was the theme -- Stretch! Karen (@capitolaquilter on Instragram) had us design and make blocks in 'denim' colours with neutrals using the Stretch theme. So interesting and so challenging. After the initial relief of realizing that we weren't working in actual denim, I will admit thinking, "What did I get myself into?!" No, I can do this! I think.

Her inspirational photos and instructions were very helpful. I took the organic roots photo as inspiration for my blocks. I started building out one block of organic curving lines. Once it got to about 14" square, I cut it into 2 to make the foundation of both blocks. I added an inset 'jean hole' to break up the negative space on one of the blocks. The blocks didn't turn out like the inspirational photo I started with, but I'm happy with where they went.

Block 1 for @capitolaquilter's STRETCH challenge #beesewcial #inspiredbybeesewcial #improvlove #beeblocks @aquilterstable @playcrafts @spontaneousthreads @marci_girl @felicityquilts @quiltsforthemaking

Block 2 for @capitolaquilter's STRETCH challenge #beesewcial #beeblocks #inspiredbybeesewcial #improvlove @entropyalwayswins @felicityquilts @spontaneousthreads @aquilterstable @marci_girl @shecanquilt @playcrafts @quiltsforthemaking

One beemate thought they looked like ligaments. Huh. Hadn't even thought of that, but it's true!

To see more of what this bee is up to, check out #beesewcial on Instagram and if you'd like to play along, you can post your blocks to #inspiredbybeesewcial. Come play!

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Colour Palette Play

On the way home from QuiltCon, the #ottmqgdrinkingteam, as we named the OMQG contingent at QuiltCon 2016, had some time to kill while waiting for our flight. After the excitement of a star spotting (which took me a month to figure out his name -- sorry Ken!), we got down to some play time. We couldn't let the QuiltCon good times end just yet.

I pulled out my box of Denyse Schmidt fat quarters (yes, I might have overpacked for Gwen Marston's Small Studies Improv class...oops) and wrangled my barely awake guild mates into a palette picker game. There's a tongue twister here, I think; How many palettes can a palette picker pick, if a palette picker could pick palettes? 18, apparently. 

Thanks @alisonharle for getting this photo!
An intense discussion about which green worked better with the palette. @aboutkirstin was laying bets about whether @slostudio and I would come to blows. True story. Not. ;)
Anyways, at first it was just putting together some colour palettes that we liked or thought worked well together. But then we got more daring and provided a challenge fabric to start us off. For me, that's usually brown or yellow. The results of our pre-boarding play are below.

It was really fun to see what palettes each of us picked -- different styles and colour preferences made for some really interesting combinations. There were a few I never would have thought worked, but they did!

Hope you enjoyed following along with our game. :)
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