Friday, January 5, 2018

Happy New Year!

Magic Boxes

A few days into the new year and I'm thrilled to say... I've got two finishes down!  Curated Quilts is hosting a mini quilt challenge where you use the colors :leaf green, blue grey, black, orchid, light grey, and medium grey.  The deadline is January 10th (so I'm REALLY proud of my very early finish) so there's time left if you'd like to partake in the fun.  If you live on the east coast - you've probably got some extra time on your hands.  We got about 8-10 inches of snow yesterday and it was beautiful but simultaneously.... frustrating.  We lost power overnight but thankfully it was restored yesterday.  In enough time for me to complete both of these....
My hummingbird feeder looks like a Jiffy pop pan!
The snow that was blown under our carport!!

Because I'm an overachiever - I couldn't make just one.  Plus with a size of 10" square up to 16" square ---- it's small enough to be able to make that deadline.

My first entry is all about 3 dimensions.  My grandson saw it on my design board the other day and said - Nana - you're a magician!!  How did you make those boxes come off the wall?   So that one was a hit.  Anytime you can get an 8 year old boy to comment on a quilt - it's got to be good.  I named it Magic Boxes just for him.

My second entry was a result of looking at the fabric scraps and thread (sitting all over my workspace) while binding my first entry.  I couldn't resist - so as soon as I finished Magic Boxes .... I jumped right on to it.  It's a love note to my husband.  It's called I Could Never Untangle You From My Heart.

I Could Never Untangle You From My Heart

Doesn't the black thread look like it's just laying there?  I'm very happy with this one.  :)

Have yourself a great new year and let's all make some beautiful things!!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Don't drop your computer - two posts in two days. I'm going for a record here...

News flash.  Mini quilts are like mini M&Ms.  you can't have just one can you?   I literally came in out of working on weeding my garden to make this mini.  It's another entry for the Curated Quilts 2nd Mini contest.

I was pulling those weeds and thinking about how much  I love being out in the country.  Weeds and all.  But I was also thinking about how the city is slowing creeping into our agricultural area (which creates the wonderful buffer from the city) and how I'd hate to be stuck in all the urban crawl (and...there is no political agenda here -it's strictly just a comment...).

Bingo.  Inspiration.  Tired of weeding.

and this is the result.  I'm calling this one - Little Log Cabin lost in the city.  Lots of matchstick quilting in a chartreuse color.  Thank you Aurifil - you make some luscious colors.  It's 10.5 x 12 inches.


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Rocks Optional

Apparently words are, too.  In a hurry to post this to Curated Quilts.  More later....

It's later now.

So this all started with a little peer pressure.  My dear friend and quilt enabler @Marymenzerdesigns posted a photo of what she was working on for the latest round of mini challenge by Curated Quilts.  I'd been seeing some of the entries -all little works of art but once I saw Mary's efforts- I knew I had to knuckle down and get to work.  And there was a full 24 hours left to make and complete the project.  All the time in the world, right?

They wanted us to use a certain palette.  Charcoal, chartreuse, pale pink, mango, and greyish beige.  Ok...not gonna lie here- these are not my colors.   Having said that- sure enough...there they were in my stash (snickering at me for poo-pooing them).  I needed reassurance about my fabric pull and of course, consulted Ping.   She confirmed my selection met the criteria.


Oops.  Here's the photo with the chartreuse.   Ping reminded me off camera I'd neglected to put it on the table. Hard to see it when she's positioned a big fluffy sprawled out body on top of it...

We were to incorporate a log cabin design or be inspired by a log cabin design.  It could range from 10 inches by 10 inches up to 16x16.  I love making mini's.  you get to be creative but not beat yourself up if you don't like the direction it took.  Nothing like making a twin-sized dud.  And all crafters have those hideous projects that we got so far into... and then realised ...yuck- what was I thinking- this stinks.  And then you can't stop making it because you've invested so much time and money so you finish it.  And then it's folded up and hidden away.  Yep- got a few of those.  

The wonk is my groove.  When I'm trying to be free from rulers and precision- go to the wonk.  Wonky log cabins are my favourite block so I knew I'd love the process if I could start from there.   I made three but only two made it into the final design.  

The heavy quilting is kind of an undercurrent to pull your eye away from the graphics of the piece...  I liked the way it turned out.

I added the rocks because it looked lonely when I was photographing it.  Which just helped me give it a name - Rocks Optional.  Silly name but it just seems to fit. Enjoy the eye candy and don't forget to check out Curated Quilts!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Time for my annual post... or "The Pillow that ate Cleveland".

My DH is always saying-please- stop laughing at your own jokes.  But I couldn't help but chuckle to see it's almost been a year since I last posted.  Sorry about that- that little thing called a job (which pays for this quilting obsession) tends to get in the way.  On to the quilting - which is what we're all here for....

Wednesday, June 28th, I'll be the guest blogger for the PaintBrush Studio Fabrics Bloghop.  I ADORE their silky smooth solids.  The colors are deep and saturated and get my creative juices flowing.  This time around we were given beautiful Red White and Blue fabrics just in time for 4th of July.... and they Went together like a harmonious soup of color.   Let's face it.  Do any of us have to be goaded that hard in to being convinced we need to see another grouping of gorgeous fabrics?   So please.  Keep coming along here....

I have had the pineapple design on my mind lately and felt like this might be a good mash up (as all the kids say now) with the colors at hand.   I love the simple design of the pineapple and it's graphically strong- so I weighed the options of making a wall hanging or pillow.  The pillow won the fight when I rummaged through my notions box and found.....Pompons!!!!!   Nothing makes a pillow more fun than some happy little pompons.

My design was simple- 2.5 inch squares or HST's.   I added a 2.5 inch border around the pineapple- and then bordered that with a strip of red and blue at 1.25 inches.   I added more white to enlarge the pillow to fit my form.  I thought I had an 18 inch pillow form but alas- imagine my surprise when all I had was a 24 inch form.  Yikes - this is like the pillow that ate Cleveland!   It's YUGE....   Its a conversation piece alright- with the conversation being- where is there left for me to fit on this chair with that big honking pillow taking up so much space?  But ....I love it 💕💕❤️❤️❤️and wouldn't change a thing.

And if looking at this pillow wasn't enough fun for you- would you like to get some fabric for free????  Head over to Fabri-Quilt blog (@pbstudiofabrics) to check out how you can get some of this lovely palette of fabric. 

Uh oh.  Total tech failure Partial tech failure update.... Blogger isn't letting me add any photos to this😳😳😳😳😳😳. I'll try again shortly - sorry for the inconvenience!!! See gratuitous photos on my IG feed   @shelleybrooksquilts   until then.... 

In the meantime- check out my fellow patriotic sewists and their imaginative and inspiring Red White and Blue fabric creations:

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The quilting made me do it....

 I've updated the famous phrase by Fred Sandford - or was it Flip Wilson? (I'm also dating myself here with that reference...).  Instead of the devil made me do it...It was the quilting made me do it.

Quilting leads to a lot of bad habits.  Habits like hoarding fabric and thread, obsessive need to save scraps, lusting after gadgets to name a few.  It's not just some simple craft left in the hands of sweet little old ladies who only drive their cars on Sunday.  Ladies and gentlemen.... quilting has lead me down a very slippery slope this time.  You may recall a few posts ago (or in several) where I rambled on about my new seam ripper.  Torn between this one and the purple one...  I made the choice for this one ...but still lusted for the purple one.  Because two of something is usually always better than just one.  Shown in the photo above, you can clearly see why I'm enamored with this tool.

Look at the depth of the color.  Look at the pearly sparkle it reflects when your hand moves about.  Marvel at the voluptuous curve and how it fits in my hand.  My only problem was....did I want this one or the purple one?  I had to settle on just one - so this is the beautiful kitten  tool that went home with me.

The slippery slope... you ask?  My husband took up woodworking a couple of years ago.  He's WONDERFUL at that craft so I'm always tagging forced to follow along along when he goes to the woodworking store.  All of that knowledge by osmosis lead me to realize....  That seam ripper is turned on a lathe.  My husband has a lathe.....  BINGO - I'm getting a purple seam ripper!!!

A beautiful bookcase for under our tv made by my dear husband.

But not that quick folks.  I came home and proudly displayed my new beautiful tool.  I asked him if he could make another one for me...  You know what that crazy guy said...  Why don't you do it?  Working on the lathe is easy to learn.

My head spun off my body.

He had me at "why don't y".  He didn't even have to finish his sentence.  Why didn't I think of this myself?  My gosh - I think I can do everything else myself (the posts about my replacing the coil in my car or the faucet in my laundry room will come much later....) - why not this??

So bing, bang, boom - off to a woodturning class I go.
Very glamorous attire here...

I took a class at the local wood shop and loved it.  We made a pen in class but it was just enough to give me the basic premise for my needs -that and a new lathe, some lathe tools, and like 200 hours of You Tube videos.  There are some amazingly informative videos out there.  Thank you Internet.

It starts like this
And in progress here

And here's the final product!!!

I love it!!!  Although, it has cut into my sewing time a bit...  I am participating in a craft fair this Sunday, 7/24/16, with a load of seam rippers and some vintage communication tools a.k.a. - pens....I am amazed at how many people want these handcrafted pens!!  I guess not everyone is using Docu-sign!

As with quilting - it's all about color for me so I've been busy working up as many different colors as I can find.  My poor husband is probably not as happy about this as I am.  He feels like he needs to "schedule" time in his shop since I've been in there so much lately.  
You just can't get a good glamour shot with this head gear on.  No Kim Kardashian-style lip pout is going to make that look any better.....

Just like in quilting, when you square up blocks and have all those tiny scraps - turning gives you these shavings.   I'm pretty sure I'm not saving these for any future use....

If you're interested in quilting or quilting gadgets or hoarding quilting tools....check out my Etsy site after this weekend.  I'm "on vacation" in the shop until after the craft show.  I can help you with that problem.  Muahahahaha.

How about you?  Do you have a favorite tool you use?  I also have a lust for Bloc Lock rulers - but thankfully I haven't gotten the bug to buy whatever you might need to make those....

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sew-cial media friendships....

No quilting on quilts here this week but there was quilting business going on.  I have had the lovely pleasure of the company of friends I met via Flickr and Instagram.  Social media is a weird thing to me.  I see our culture using it to communicate vs. actually speaking to each other.  I LOVE good old fashioned flapping of the jaws and laughing WITH people....  I find it odd that so many people use it to communicate instead of face to face meeting...

My dear fried Mary Menzer (@marymenzerdesigns) hosted some friends from far away places this weekend.  I was fortunate to spend some time with them and host dinner tonight.  We had a blast.  One of the lovely ladies told me how her husband was amazed at how we would all up ...not ever having met in person before.  But I guess that's the other side of social media - the magic of social media.  I felt like I knew them without ever actually having been in the same room.  Perhaps we were in a virtual room.  Filled with fabric and thread and quilts.

My husband - Grill Master and all around good sport!

So we ate tons of food, drank delicious spirits, and got lots of exercise through laughter.  We heard stories from our husbands (mine and Mary's) about the torture and extents they have to go to while holding our quilts for photography sessions.  We giggled about silly things we've done for quilting.  We talked about bugs we've experienced in different parts of the country.  We were amazed when we got to see the BEAUTIFUL tattoo one of our friends (endured) got which was from a Tula Pink print.  Yes - she got a Tula tattoo...  This was a pretty epic party.  

It was a lovely evening and I'm so honored to call these gals my friends.  We represented both coasts and the middle of the US... I'm telling you - EPIC party!!!!  I didn't see any paparazzi but I'm sure they were there somewhere....

 If you ever have the chance - reach out - plan a trip - meet in person - make a sewcial connection!!!  

Have you met anyone recently that you've met via social media?

Friday, July 1, 2016

Roaring to the deadline

CherryWood Fabrics held a contest.  Need I say more.  Ummm...yes - sign me up.   Of course, there was a nice lengthy time to enter before the deadline (a few months, I believe).  Per usual, I chose the work under pressure manner of creating - so in about 36 hours before the deadline - I was in.

It started like this.   It even came with a permission slip to encourage me to cut into those GORGEOUS fabrics....

And like a fearless lioness - I did just that. 

The theme was Lion King, The Musical.  If you had a chance to see any of their challenge entries from last year, based on the musical Wicked - they were amazing.  If you didn't catch it - by all means take a look.  Spectacular work.  I put the link below but you can google it and get even more things to peruse.

I was going to use the circle of life reference as my inspiration.
Finding all things circular for tracing

Lots of good choices for color

I toyed with this design but it was far too simplistic.  Didn't have enough "oomph".

So I mulled it over a night (wasted hours....) and then I got really juiced up and figured out a more complex and interesting design.  Which required...

A nice 9 degree wedge

The wedge really started working for me and I wound up with this:


I harnessed my super power : "working really fast under pressure" and the design began to form:

And eventually became this:

I called upon my secondary super hero power: "quilting the snot of out of a quilt".

And thus:

Mufasa is raw edge appliquéd with lots of tiny, slow quilting moves.

Totally worth the time....

Of course, what kind of sewist would I be without a little thread controversy....  Also per usual, I goofed a little (a lot) and had to do some unsewing.  Which leads me to my next tidbit to share.... I'm making seam rippers!!

I have learned how to turn these on a lathe and polish them into beautiful sewing tools.  If you've ever  held one of these in your own hand - then you know how good they feel.  If you haven't - you should absolutely take one for a test drive.  They feel luxurious.  I hardly minded unsewing while using this!!  More on this later...

So while the Mission Impossible them music played loudly - and despite the temporary slow down for unsewing, I was able to enter the contest (and I still had and hour and a half before the actual deadline!!!).

I'm pleased with my result (although those toes need some polish....) ...  What are you working on???