Modern Butterfly A Goal Realized

 
I'm published in  Generation Q! Squee!  
Long ago I made samples for Connecting Threads. I was thrilled.  I was being paid to make. How awesome is that I ask you?  I was a professional with the W-2 to prove it. woot!
 It was a great experience and I will always be grateful for all I learned. really and truly. 
but.... 
they picked the fabric, the design and I just followed a pattern.  
Many magazines do the same thing, ask you to make something with a certain fabric or change elements. etc. 

After a while, my skills grew and my interest in  creating my own work became more of a priority.  
So I set a new GOAL: Make my own work and get it published.  
 This is quilt is kinda the start of a whole Mid Century Modern Series that I'm probably about mid way thru. I'm making with these Mid Century shapes that speak to a different cooler age. Its kind of like a quilty art history intensive for one. 
How its made:  Pieced.  This could made in about 2 hours if you just cut shapes out and fused them on whole cloth.  ( I could do a whole a monologue about how much I hate fusing, don"t get me started. I hate it. I've done it. still hate it.)  If that's your thing: go for it.

If you want to see what is happening in my studio and see sneak peeks of what I'm working on check out my Instagram feed.  OR Subscribe to my blog and my finishes will come straight to your mailbox.
If you live Local in Portland, Oregon  I'll be doing a trunk show and talking about my process at the next Modern Club Meeting at The Pine Needle in Lake Oswego on March 26th.  Social time starts at 5:30 and the meeting 6:00 - 8:00.  

Tonight I went to Hand Sew Happy Hour, 2 hours to sit and hang with friends I rarely see. I got to see Ale for her birthday and meet her sweet daughter (the inspiration for her online name GoldWillow) and sit with Michelle and catch up. An afternoon well spent.  
Today is Pi day.  Hope you get to have a slice. 
Quilters Rock, 
Rachel

I'm a Hexin' Beast!!























Well, here it is my first finish for 2014. Its been about 4 years in the making. It's been waiting for me to grow my skills and decide how I wanted to communicate.

 
  About 4 years ago I started Hexing.The woman who taught me, her work looked terrible so I needed to figure it out. I didn't want the stitches to show in the front and I wanted to be able to take the papers out, but leave the basting in for more shape while in the "being made" stage.  I got a hole punch and punched all my papers, then I basted on the back side only. In the "Joining" stage I ladder stitched with the WRONG sides together. When I open them up, the stitches are covered and I've sewn the back edges together not the front edges.



I opted to make "Lumps". When I think about my Grandmother, I don't think of a silver haired Granny, baking cookies and wearing an apron. In the 30's, she was a pants wearing, art school attending, super athletic dynamo.  She was so cool! She traveled everywhere, she was in Cuba in 1969. She had a bright red floating fireplace in her living room. She made jewelery. She worked at a job, with her own office.  I used to look thru her phone book when I was young, looking to see who was in there.  I'm not sure why, but one day I discovered the home number of Bob Hope. 
So when I look at Grandmother Flower Garden quilts, with their sweet wholesome girlish charm, I don't see my Maxine. I mean, how cool a name is that? After I made a bunch of lumps, I kinda knew I wanted to make a quilt that spoke to those GMFG quilts. Something about my own Grandmother.
 It's always been sitting back in my mind. "Maxine's Quilt" Maxine's Quilt" 
This last summer I figured it out. I made a hex top. A low volume, whole and pieced , hex by machine top.

 Then I just machine appliqued the lumps on the top before quilting the background.

Above you can see I used a kind of flower pattern that also looks very topographical. You can also see that I've sewn around the edge of the lump but not in the middle around each hex. Are you thinking this is a problem? I am and I don't have a solve for it at this point in the process.  So....


After it comes off the quilter, I really have to come to grips with the the fact that this won't wash well.
I don't like the puff of the hexes, its uneven and where the lumps are 3 rows thick, I don't think it will wear well.
Having a Bernina is kinda awesome. I have a 440QE and I love it.  I have a Binder that I bind all my quilts with and a ruffler for making clothes. Nothing - but NOTHING- buttonholes like a Bernina. There is a sweet foot that will hold a button and then a stitch that sews a button to the garment.  Below you can see the "in progress" shot.


 


I put 1, 2, or 3 button stitches in each hex. I really like how it turned out. I feel like it will wash well, I like the "cracker" quality to the hexes that the tacking provides and the tactile quality to the different quilting treatments meets my goal.  The back is a solid pale yellow flannel I had in my stash. the very last piece.  It may have taken 4 years but I'm in no hurry.  It's a WIP off my list and a finish worthy of being this years first.

Quilters Rock!

Twizzle your Buds on the Insta Face


Well, I've been living life and before I know it, time gets away from me. I can't believe how long it's been since I posted, but here I am.
I've been curating the Monthly Quilt Show at Modern Domestic as well as teaching. I still check in on My Elder daily and keep my hubs clean and fed. the rest of the time I'm free to sew. 
 When I looked at the blog, I thought it needed a bit of housekeeping so ....
I  created a Blog Page for Some of my Quilts, the most recent ones from the last couple of years.
 photo.JPG

I  added an InstaGram Button, if you want to see my charming dog, fabrics,  studio shots, and work in progress that's the place to find me these days.  Please follow me there.
 I'm a pretty boy #deiterdiaz 

 I also added a Subscribe by Email button. I post mostly major finishes, so if you want to stay informed please think about subscribing.  I've signed at least one release lately, so there will be exciting ( to me at least) news coming.

84 x 104 super huge #DSQuilts #denyseschmidt scrap quilt top completed. I'm not a completist so I don't own a complete line of anything - I used a lots of different lines. This is for my bed.






















A set on fickr HERE of my quilts up to 2012 will let you see my past work all in one handy location.
I'm having a grand time sewing with friends and creating work I'm proud of.  How's your new year going?
as always- Quilters Rock!

Quilting Happiness: The Web Site



My story about volunteering  at the CCC is up over at Quilting Happiness.

If you have a chance to check out the web site, with not only stories but quizzes and helpful data to get your creativity flowing.  Are you getting what you want/need from your making? The web site will have projects and inspiration to create a more Joyful making experience.

I just love the idea of this book.

Sticks and Stones


"The details are not the details. They make the design."  - Charles Eames
"Art resides in the process of doing, process is not magic" - Charles Eames
"The real questions are:
Does it solve a problem?
Is it serviceable?
How is it going to look in 10 years?" Charles Eames

These quotes are what this quilt is about. I mean, sure, it's about all kinds of things, but mostly and intentionally, its about Design and Craftsmanship.

The background is Linen, so that it will have a long life, and provide a nice contrast to the cotton applique.
Its all turned appliqué so it wont fray. It's not fused, after all a quilt is for cuddling, for using.
The back is a great modern print from Ikea.
We recently welcomed the first grandchild into our family and this is the quilt I made while we waited for the child.  Clearly, its for a little girl, a modern little girl, a wee little me.  But no, my stepdaughter had a boy, with a green and yellow frog theme for the nursery.   They're expressing a different vision for him,  one that I'll interpret into a quilt for them and the baby. 
This quilt is designed to go into the washer and the dryer. Its all machine made.

 
It will hold up to the toughest cuddler. It's quilted with 2 patterns that will give contrasting touch and a good hand after repeated washing. In the quilting, I try and focus on creating a sense of intention and  I go for a more painterly quality, less uniformity. I want the quilt to be usable and comfy, not stiff or precious like a show quilt. 


Binding is low contrast and from a distance will not distract from the center, but up close it's a color coordinated stripe from Lizzy House.


This quilt is also really an homage to Eames. From the design, to the making, to the finishing. 
It's machine made. Machine quilted. Machine finished.


 After years of a dedicated focus on quilting, what it means to me, how I want to add to the legacy, and how I hope to have my work interpreted, I finally feel like Im starting to more closely hit my mark. My choices are purposeful, and intentional as part of the design.

 If your visiting my blog for the first time after seeing this quilt at Sisters Quilt Show. I hope you'll follow me here or over at Instagram or Flickr. If your interested in seeing whats going on, WIPS, Studio shots, etc.. Instagram is where I spend the most time.
Quilters Rock!

Quilt Hexing Beast

I love Hexes. Love them. I read Jacquie's Post about machine piecing a Hex Top and had to try it.


I first did this red and aqua "trial".  I decided in my infinite wisdom failure to read directions that I should put aqua "petals" around red "centers" and join those. Don't do that. Just follow directions and sew rows, then join the rows.
 I also never did manage to press it.  I decided to just quilt it and it worked out okay, better than I expected. Folks trust me when I say this: Do not try this at home! Full disclosure I also think I loaded it onto the quilter side ways and the rows go top to bottom. Boo. Hiss.  But it was my first attempt.
The  next Hex I made is larger both in hex size and finished top size. crib sized vs baby.  It was a snap and after I got a few rows together I started pressing the "done" rows so it more manageable. I get easily overwhelmed with pressing, what can I say. So, the directions say "its easier to not press". I know this because I went back and read them completely.
 I would leave the row I was going to attach to unpressed but press finished seams.  Oh this top is Flat and Happy. Its going next to be loaded onto the quilter.


The latest quilt to get finished and off the quilter is this... another string quilt. Im calling it Spring Rain.
 I also finished quilting this for charity.


It includes some vintage alphabet fabric that I think really sparkles with other low volume fabrics.


The stitching is that great Denyse Schmidt inspired figure eight. Oh that is this years charity stitch of choice. It goes so fast. Nails everything down. Washes up great and looks so good.

That's all the Quilty news from my studio.  A couple of Weeks ago I went to Quilt Market and met so many great folks. My IG has jumped to 300 followers, which for me is amaze balls, I'm so happy at the response to my making.  I love quilting and am so happy to have found like minded folks. yay!
On IG im 2ndavestudio- come follow me, meet my dog and see what I'm eating! 
Quilters Rock!

first one done

photo.JPG by Rachel @ 2nd Avenue Studio
photo.JPG, a photo by Rachel @ 2nd Avenue Studio on Flickr.

well, my first Charity Quilt for the year is done. Its not bound but its off the quilter and trimmed.
Im happy about that. I need to be quilting a couple of these a month to stay on track. I've been slacking. Doing other things and other projects. I used this as a practice piece for my Sticks and Stones Quilt that I'm about to quilt.