Friday, May 17, 2013

Loulouthi hexies for Bloggers Quilt Festival S'13

It's been a couple of cycles since I entered a quilt in Amy's Bloggers' Quilt Festival 
and I'm delighted to be getting out of the quilt closet once again.


I can hardly wait to browse through all the lovelies in the various categories and really hope that you enjoy the little quilt I have to share with you, which I'm entering in Amy's new "throw quilt" category.

Loulouthi Hexies

This is one of those projects that took a loooooooong time from start to finish, which makes it especially meaningful.

Lououthi hexies, English paper piecing
47" x 54"
hand pieced (English paper piecing)
free motion quilted on my domestic sewing machine

I began this project as part of the Summer 2011 "hexalong" organized by Lynne of Lily's Quilts.  I began by experimenting with a variety of hexagon shapes and a small set of Anna Maria Horner's then-new Loulouthi line of fabrics, which I was combining with solids from my stash. One of the delights and challenges of Loulouthi is that it is far, far, far from a "matchy-matchy" kind of line.  The line has its own internal scrappiness, with a very wide range of colours and print scale. 

my very first giant hexie for the HAL

My collection of hexies started to grow....

first set of hexies for the HAL

big hexies in progress for the HAL    ....and grow and grow...

until the walls hung with vines...

Oops...until it started to feel a little out of control.

HAL "constellation"


I reined it in, establishing Kona lagoon and aqua as the only two solids to be used throughout, and also establishing a configuration of 60 degree stars and tumbling blocks as the basic "building block" of my layout.

Once I had this basic unit figured out, it became much easier to move forward and to do some heaxagon experimentation within the basic pattern (as you can see in some of the pieced hexagons that run along the edges of the finished quilt!).

EPP is slow, no doubt about it, but I'd say that most of the time it took to make this quilt top was spent thinking...trying to figure out how to balance the wildness of Loulouthi (and the scrappiness I was really enjoying) with my need for harmony in the layout.

Finally, more than a year later, I had a throw size top I felt happy with!Loulouthi hexies, started summer 2011, now almost done

And now, with the help of my sweet daughter Chloe who was willing to hold the quilt for a few minutes before school today, I have photos of the finished quilt, 
which is backed with AMH's "Summer Totem" 
and free-motion quilted on my domestic machine in a very relaxed loopy pattern.

Loulouthi hexies, back

Loulouthi hexies, loopy fmq

Thanks so much for stopping by!  Enjoy the quilt festival!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

camp memories

Hellooooooo! Happy spring (she writes, optimistically, as we in Toronto exit from a spell of chilly weather).

I have been meaning to post something about the absolutely wonderful, exhausting, memorable time I had at Brenda's Camp Stitchalot...but somehow the days and now the week/s have slipped by, and others -- like Rossie, Katy (here AND here), and April -- have done a great job capturing its spirit.

The fact that I have next to no photo documentation of the weekend has been one hindrance to blogging about the experience.  But the fact that I neglected my e-mail, instagram, flickr, and camera are actually really good signs: I was there, I was having fun, and for at least a little while I wasn't at all concerned about the world beyond. And fortunately for me, my fellow campers (and most especially my dear friend Melinda) did document and now there's a great pool of flickr photos to serve as our collective scrapbook.

The opportunity to focus on sewing, and I mean really focus (as in sew-every-waking-moment-focus) was amazing in itself. For a few days weekend-before-last, I forgot about my research, my writing, my deadlines, my admin responsibilities. I wasn't thinking about what to make for dinner. It was a great treat!

Most memorably, I had the chance to spend time with a group of women doing the same thing, and doing it with humour and enthusiasm. The talent and generosity of both our "counsellors" -- Brenda, Rossie, Katy, Rae, Melody, and Rashida -- and fellow "campers" is really stunning. It was just what I needed and I wish we could do it all over again, monthly!

I admit that my camp spirit waned on Sunday morning as my thoughts turned to the drive home and the very serious work in front on me...I think I even uttered the sacrilege, "It's ONLY fabric!" during a spontaneous scrap swap...what was I thinking?

I repent.

And I hope to go back to camp next spring!