Improv Weekend Sewing

This weekend I did some improv sewing.  Improv is hard for me, I like the control that a plan gives you. In some ways, improv sewing pushes me outside my comfort zone in the best possible way. I tried some things I never would have done if I had a plan. The key for me is telling myself over and over again that it is just fabric!

Blue Improv - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI wanted to work on improv geese – which is my favorite improv technique and also improv curves, which I find intriguing and I love the movement they add. Do you see the wave on the bottom right and the big curve with an inset fussy cut on the upper right? Believe me, those are easier to do than you may think!  I also wanted to do a couple of special fussy cuts, like the little fish that says “swimming” and the river ferry.

My friend Kim, over at Persimon Dreams, is taking over the Scrap Quilt Challenge for 2016 and I am one of the bloggers who will be giving some tutorials and inspiration on how to use those lovely scraps I just know you have hanging out in your stash!

On February 15th I will have a tutorial on scrappy improv geese and how to do that gentle wave at the bottom right. I am excited to share how I do it. I’m certain that my way isn’t the only way, but if you are new to these techniques, I will give you a good idea of how to do it! You can see the rest of the bloggers here.

In the meantime this beautiful blue mini will be quilted with some matchstick quilting for a friend of mine and I just hope she loves it as much as I do!

Happy Sewing!

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Posted in Improv, Mini Quilt, Sew BitterSweet Designs Patterns | 5 Comments

Stacked Pyramids – First 2016 Finish

Stacked Pyramids - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.comHere it is! My first finish of 2016.

Now I can’t take full credit for this gorgeous quilt. It is my pattern Stacked Pyramids, but the lovely ladies of the Trust Circle of Do Good Stitches made all but two of the blocks. I pieced 2 blocks, then pieced all the blocks together, quilted it and bound it. It is always such an amazing and heartwarming experience to quilt with these incredibly talented women. I feel so blessed to work with them.

After I finished writing the pattern, I sent free copies to all of the ladies in my quilting circle and asked them to make two blocks in Aqua, Raspberry and Kona Ash. My favorite part is how scrappy the blocks are. I could never make a scrappy quilt like this from my stash, but these women are all over the country and we have such varied stashes.

I quilted this at Sewtopia on a Bernina sit down long arm machine. It was an interesting experience.  Here is a close up of the quilting.

Stacked Pyramids - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com

Simple all over design. I used the backing fabric as the binding. What is most special is that this quilt was donated to a foster child at Anne’s school. I gave it to her Kindergarten teacher who, in turn, gave it to the school counselor to deliver.  It makes my heart feel so good to be able to support a local foster child and someone who is in Anne’s community.

If you like the pattern, please visit my Craftsy shop to purchase it. The block pattern is $2.50. This is for the block only, it does not provide yardage or instructions to make the full quilt, though that might be in the works at some point in the future.

Do you have any finishes yet?

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Posted in 2016 Finishes, Do.Good Stitches, Sew BitterSweet Designs Patterns | 6 Comments

A Lovely Year of Finishes – 2015 Finale Winners

alyof2015Here we are! The very last post of A Lovely Year of Finishes – talk about bitter sweet. I am excited for the future, but I will miss seeing what all of you have been up to. That alone will encourage me to keep up with my bloglovin’ feed and check out as many blogs as I can!

Shanna and I would like to thank our wonderful sponsors one final time. Without our sponsors I know this party wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it has been. Thank you from the bottom of our quilty little hearts!

Make sure you stop by tomorrow and see my first finish of 2016!

And without further ado, our winners are:

1. $35 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop

FatQuarterShop - http://www.fatquartershop.com

Moneik – Moneik Quilts

2. Green Fairy Quilts – 3 pdf patterns

Jennie – Jennie’s Threads

3. PDF Pattern from Katy – The Littlest Thistle

The Littlest Thistle - http://www.the-littlest-thistle.com/

Jannette – Quilting and Cardmaking

4. One PDF Pattern from Meadow Mist Designs

Meadow Mist Designs Button

Deb – Life In the Dog House

5. PDF Pattern from Persimon Dreams

Project QUILTING

Susan – Desertsky Quilting

6. One pdf Pattern from Clover and Violet

cloverandviolet

Hayley – Moobird Stitches

7. One Charm pack or $10.00 gift certificate to
Stitches n’ Giggles (winners choice)

Marie – Flickr

8. Sew BitterSweet Designs one pdf pattern

http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/

Vicki – Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

9. One PDF pattern from Sew Sweetness

 Sew Sweetness

Susan – Farm Quilter

10. One PDF pattern from Honey, Bunny, and Doll Designs

Honey, Bunny, and Doll

Heather – A Reformed Heath’n

11. Thimblepie’s Quilt Supplies – Custom fabric package, 3 yards plus free shipping anywhere

Kell – Flickr

Posted in A Lovely Year of Finishes, Fiber of All Sorts | 5 Comments

A Lovely Year of Finishes – December Winners

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Excited to share the winners from the month of December.

Shanna and I are always SO excited to hear all about your finishes!!

Let’s celebrate last month!

~~~

Here’s our amazing prizes for December …and our WINNERS!
1.  Green Fairy Quilts – 3 pdf patterns

 Mary - Mary Emmens

2. $15 gift certificate from Fat Quarter Shop
3. One PDF pattern from Michele of Mishka’s Playground
mishka-playground_sq-125

Becky - Flickr

4. PDF Pattern from Katy – The Littlest Thistle
The Littlest Thistle - http://www.the-littlest-thistle.com/


Heather - nepeanquilter
5. One PDF Pattern from Meadow Mist Designs
Meadow Mist Designs Button

Jenelle – Echinops & Aster

6. PDF Pattern from Persimon Dreams
Project QUILTING
7. One pdf Pattern from Clover and Violet
cloverandviolet

Moneik - Moneik Quilts

8. One Charm pack or $10.00 gift certificate to

Sobana - The Quilt Bug
9. Sew BitterSweet Designs one pdf pattern
http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com/

Jodie - The Crafty Room

10. One PDF pattern from Sew Sweetness

Tisha - Quilty Therapy

11. One PDF pattern from Honey, Bunny, and Doll Designs
Honey, Bunny, and Doll

 Patty - A Stitch in Time

12. Thimblepie’s Quilt Supplies – Custom fabric package, 3 yards plus free shipping anywhere
~~~
Congrats to our December winners
Posted in A Lovely Year of Finishes, Fiber of All Sorts | 1 Comment

2016 Word of the Year

Many people out there are blogging about their New Year’s resolutions and their “word” for 2016. (Christa from Christa Quilts picked the word Relax and Pat Sloan picked the word “Space”.) I decided that I wanted to focus on a word too. It isn’t going to be a goal or anything like that, more along the lines of taking ownership of that word.

My word for 2016 will be ARTIST.

For some reason I have never considered myself to be an “artist”, which is especially weird interesting given the fact that I actually have a Minor in Studio Art.  There are many reasons for this, but mostly because I never felt like I could draw. I mean, my best picture of a person is a stick figure. I have always associated artist with someone who can draw.  When I took up Zentangle 11 months ago, I realized that I can draw. In fact, I really love my Zentagle drawings. Learning to Zentangle has made me better at Free Motion Quilting.

Hypnotic Eye Zentangle - http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com Hypnotic Eye - http://blogs.sewbittersweetdesigns.comI have decided that being able to draw something that looks like a real life replica is no longer how I will define the word “artist”. I cannot draw, but I create beautiful things every day, and that should be included in my definition. In addition to drawing, my love of photography has helped me learn how to put colors together in quilts and it has helped me translate the things I see in every day life into beautiful quilts, which I shall now call “works of art”.

So from here on out I will be thinking of myself not only as Melissa – mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, quilter, designer, but also as Melissa – Artist.

Taking ownership of that word is a huge step for me.

What word are you taking ownership of this year?

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Posted in Personal Post | 10 Comments