WIP-Gone All Ginghamy

Many thanks to Lee, of Freshly Pieced, for hosting us on WIP Wednesdays.  At least I HOPE she’s hosting us today, as I know she had plans to head to market.  Be sure to head back over there to enjoy our weekly quilts-in-progress.

It’s not a big surprise I’ve had gingham on my mind.  But today I actually wanted to dive into the fabrics and sew with them, so above is my work in progress (need the binding and the hanger) for today.  The quilting idea comes from Canoe Ridge Creations.

I didn’t find much difference in sewing with the all-cotton ginghams I’d ordered from Fabric.com versus the lighter-weight vintage ginghams (which are surely a blend of polyester and cotton).  The vintage (and what you’ll get at JoAnn’s) fabric content leads them to be less tightly woven so you’ll not want to do a binding with them, for instance, but I found them fine for general piecing.

The other night I went to a baby shower.  One of the guests — our friend Simone — wore gingham.  My friend Leisa nudged me and said, “Look!  Gingham!”  Simone says she has a blue gingham shirt, too.

One of the challenges is thinking about the kinds of quilts that would work well with this fabric.  I don’t want anything with too many seams, as the constant subdividing of the checks might drive me batty.  However, having said that, I don’t really fuss about it if they are slightly off-grain, as it gives the piece a bit more energy.  (Did you notice the slightly-off grain “geese” up top in my mini-quilt?  Didn’t think so.)

I’ve been collecting a few ideas on Pinterest, finding it a handy place to stash quilts I run across. I also know I want to make a quilt with lots of white in it, to give it a light, fresh summery feeling.

from Rubyru Quilts and Makes

from Fussy Cut

But I have to admit I have my heart set on a bowtie quilt (imagine this one in white background with cheerful ginghams everywhere).  Krista, my partner in crime over at KristaStitched already has her idea all picked out!  We’re both hoping we can entice Cindy of Live a Colorful Life to come and play with us too.  Stay tuned.

Watch for our giveaway of three packets of gingham fat quarters (plus half-yard of Kona white in each) coming soon.


It all started when. . .

I went to a gigantor garage sale and found boxes of fabric, and tons of gingham.  Gingham?  I hadn’t used or sewn with gingham for years.  I sent some to Krista, of KristaStitched and she suggested we do something fun this summer with our gingham.  One thing led to another and last week a box showed up at my house with some more gingham, woven this year:

Gingham is an interesting fabric because it’s not printed, it’s woven.

Here’s some printed fabrics–we call them checks because there’s only two colors.  In gingham, there’s three.

Check on the bottom, gingham (blue and chocolate brown) on the top.

I call them yarn-dyed, because the color is not applied, like it is in printed cottons, but the yarns are dyed the color present in the gingham, in this case some aqua and some chocolate brown yarns were woven to give us that “checked” appearance so typical of this fabric. The blue yarns overlapping the blues give the solid blue color and ditto for the browns.  But when the blues and the browns intersect, you get that half-toned looking square with both colors in it.  This also means that there is no right or wrong side to ginghams, which when I started to make my paper pieced block (in the Gingham Giveaway logo) I didn’t have to worry about that at all.  And that was one complicated little paper-pieced block.  You can find it here.

The new cottons are 100% cotton, made for traditional and modern sewers.  Okay, so when that box arrived, I thought . . . what was I thinking?  Way too much to use all myself, so Krista and I thought we’d have a Gingham Giveaway.

But it’s not just any giveaway–we want you to play along, and make something gingham-y for yourself and for all of us to see.

So I put together some packets of 3 fat quarters of gingham and a full half-yard of Kona White cotton.  If you are selected in the giveaway, you agree to make a quilt–or a quilt block–or four quilt blocks–or a mini-quilt–or something along those lines with your ginghams.  We’d ask that you then post it up on your blog linking back to both Krista and my blogs.  That’s all!

Dates: The Gingham Giveaway will be held early in June.  We’ll let you know when to leave a comment on our blogs, but we’d like you to be thinking about it.  We’ll announce those who want to play along with us, and because gingham is so picnic-Americana-looking, we ask that you blog about your block(s) or your quilt top on Wednesday July 4th.

Because this is a summer fun project, we don’t need your quilt to be quilted, or your blocks to be finished.  We just want you to have some fun with some ginghams and play, play, play!

Check back. . . or should I say. . . gingham back!

iPad Quilt Drawings

I’ve been quite curious to see if I could use any of the iPad’s apps to draw quilts, or even attempt to draw anything.  I had fallen in love with the press for Pages, and spent quite a bit of time looking at reviews of that.  I also typed in Penultimate vs. Noteshelf (mainly because I kept seeing that app mentioned) and to find a review that talked about the latest upgrade, I had to keep clicking away.

I have the following productivity apps, as they are called sometimes, because you’re supposed to be productive when you use them (links are to websites that reviewed them or to the developer’s site):

Pages–used mainly for word processing documents; can be sent to your email as a PDF or Word document
Cloud-on–have not even opened it up yet, but it’s supposed to function like Pages, yet you can save documents to a Dropbox folder (one drawback of Pages is that you cannot save to Dropbox)
Notability–I have no clue how to use this yet, but an up-and-coming young man at church recommended it; he uses it all the time in his business
Penultimate–I purchased this because they talked about its ability to draw and to use it like one of the Moleskin notebooks.  I envisioned sitting under a tree with a great landscape in the distance, sketching away.  Right.
Noteshelf--has more pens, more papers, and the possibility of buying more papers.  I liked that they had different thicknesses of pens (one is a marker-tip and one is a fine-tip), and more colors.  The use was fairly intuitive for me, but I’m pretty used to Macs, Apple machines and their programs, having had a Mac around the house since the mid-1980s (yes, I’m that much of an Apple geek).

But even though I’m supposed to be “productive” I was more interested in the play aspect, specifically for quilting.  Here’s my first attempt:

Hmmm. New frontier, indeed.  In the above image, I drew shapes with a fine-tip pen, colored them in with a marker, took a photo of my iPad cover and popped it down into the image (resizing it to the size of one of my “blocks”) and then handwrote some notes as I was sitting in the airplane on the way to see my parents; it was turbulent all the way.  Yes, I used a stylus–went to Wal-Mart and picked one up–and I like the way it writes.

This visual is from Beautiful Designs/Gadget Tech website, which has a fairly in-depth comparison of the three programs, but here you can see that the same person produces three different types of script, depending on the program.

But on the way home, the plane ride was more smooth and I had about 90 minutes to really play around.  I needed it to be WAAAAY more capable than the silly sketch above, because although messiness has its virtues, I needed precision.

So I loaded up a grid paper (be sure to take the time to do the tutorial–it’s seventeen pages, but you’ll need all that info to even get started) and tried to draw a representation of the windows of the Ogden City Hall–an interesting proportion.  Then I “drew” a rectangle around it, copied it and became an object I could paste anywhere on the page.  Using the little buttons on the side of the object, I could rotate it and set it into place.

When you have no idea where you’re going, anywhere will do.  I practiced this technique, varying where I put the quilt block/object until I’d built myself a “quilt.”  Since my quilt block was uneven, I left some spaces in places for interest.  I haven’t figured out much since I arrived home as I plowed into grading pretty heavily, but I have to admit I was fairly encouraged by this initial foray into trying to draw a quilt.

Obviously the lines are a bit wobbly as the pen can’t “snap” to the grid like it can in my quilt program, and there’s no preset templates for triangles, etc.  But I feel I could make a reasonable stab at this.  And if I were a programmer, I’d try to develop a quilting app that actually drew quilts, not just told me about how much yardage I need to buy.

Have any of you experimented with this?  What have you come up with?

Gardiner’s Quilt Shop

Several states away from Ginger’s Quilt Shoppe is Gardiner’s Quilt Shop.  My mom and I went out one morning for some girls shopping, and after we did the errands she said she knew of a place I might like to visit.  My mom really loves me!

Gardiner’s Sew and Quilt  •  3789 Wall Ave, Ogden, UT 84405, near the Newgate Mall

Before I turn you loose on the slideshow, it should be said that this unassuming facade houses a fabulous selection of fabric.  I know I sometimes sound like a shill for these quilt shops, but the local quilt shops are very important to me–even if they are in my mother’s hometown.  By frequenting these, we help keep the industry alive and kicking, plus we get to see and handle all those luscious fabrics.

I was quite impressed with the range of lines they carried, from Riley Blake to Amy Butler and many inbetween.  Gardiner’s has a great display of quilts showing ideas for how to use their fabrics, and they are fresh and new and make you want to get a few fat quarters. . . or yards.  Here’s the two ladies who helped me. . . and told me about Ginger’s Quilt Shoppe, too.  By the way, I apologize for the quality of the photos, as I only had my cellphone.

One shot in the slideshow is from above.  They have an upstairs with all their sale fabric, but I must admit I had more fun downstairs with the regular goods.  In one picture you’ll see sewing machines, and next to them is a wall of cubbies holding quilts for sale.  So smart to sell all the displays afterwards–good for those who don’t want to make a quilt, but want to have one on their bed.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ginger’s Quilt Shoppe

Ginger’s Quilt Shoppe is about 30 minutes from my house, and that’s the place I went to when I was agonizing over what to put in Scrappy Stars to finish it off.  While I love online shopping, there’s nothing like a brick-and-mortar shop.  The address is 1120 Dewey Way, Suite B in Upland California.

The phone number is on the door, and the place is well-marked.

The first order of business was to get a bunch of bolts of fabric to try out my stars.  The lady who helped me was VERY cheerful about this, and made the final suggestion:

I loved the linen look of this fabric and was really happy with it.  After we settled on that, I picked a couple of more fabrics “for the stash,” then got her permission to roam around the shop and take photos for this blog.  As you can see, they have a lot of batiks, a well-stocked notion and pattern section, cute decor and a big room with a long-arm.  I haven’t been there enough to know the ins and outs of the shop, but my friend Tracy is a fan, and if she’s a fan–it’s a good place.  And interestingly enough, when I went to Utah to see my mom and went to her local quilt shop, one of the women who worked there, knew of Ginger’s and went on and on about it.  I’ll need to return–and soon!  (We do have a Quilter’s Run/Shop Hop coming up this summer.)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Gingham on my Mind

Well, I have gingham on my mind, but other things too.

Like these three grandsons of mine who showed up for the weekend.

Like this stack of papers who arrived on Wednesday and are Still Here.  (Definitely a work in progress.)  (Right now I’m taking a break.)

But this one is somewhere in between there and here, in terms of Works In Progress.  Here I’m sewing the borders on, but I finished (yay!) and it’s at the quilter’s right now, getting all stitched up.

Here’s some gingham things I’ve found while trolling the net. . . a book.  Is it me, or does that person they identify as “Jakie Kennedy” NOT look like Jacquie Kennedy?

I think the heel has some sparklies that move around.  Talk about elevating gingham beyond where it should go.

This is what I look like when I grade papers.  Ewwww!
However, her shirt is cute, don’t you think?  Love the covered buttons.

Now head over to Freshly Pieced to see what Lee’s got on her mind, at WIP Wednesday.