Tuesday, October 29, 2013

I Have a New Webpage!

Dear Visitor!

Thank you for checking out the Curious Needle.

I now have a new website which is more extensive than this blog. The new website will feature interviews with other quilters and designers and talented people. Of course, I will also continue to feature my own designs and work as well. Since I am quilting, sewing, and blogging full time these days I will soon have a shop that sells my patterns as well.

Please check out my new website Felicia's World at www.feliciasworld.com.

I look forward to your visit.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hexagon progress so far

Here is my progress so far on my hexagon quilt utilizing my Liberty of London, Tawna Lawn fabrics.

This is the central medallion so far.


Friday, December 21, 2012

There goes the Liberty fabrics...

After some serious soul searching and reflection I have decided to sacrifice my super-special stash of Liberty of London, Tawna Lawn fabrics for the hexagon quilt.

After all, they are prefect...

I have been buying little charm packs with 6x6 inch squares on Etsy. They came shipped from France. Then I bought some remnants on Ebay, and some more on Etsy. Most of those came from England. I also have some that I have been holding onto for years that I bought in Glasgow, Scotland, several years ago. All in all I am pretty sure I have over 100 different Tawna Lawn fabrics.

They are equisitely finely woven and printed. The patterns are a bit over the top on many of them. I love that. They are so noisy and exhuberant in a conservative and well mannered way.

Can't wait to start cutting them up for my little hexagons.

BTW: I am WAY to lazy and busy to make or buy new hexagons in a different size so I am just reusing the cardstock hexagons I made for my first hexagon quilt.

Do you like the fabrics?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Advent Calendar

The Advent Calendar that I made for my two stepdaughters last year is surviving its second season.

Every morning from December 1st, it is just a little bit less hazzle to get the girls out of be in the morning.

"Do I get to open a present?" says the 4 year old.

 The only catch this year was that she has completely gone off chocolate, which meant there were some rather ungrateful grumbling when she unwrapped a couple of chocolate Santas (which were a huge success last year).
The biggest success this year so far was lipgloss shaped like a ladybug from World Market and the Hello Kitty body tattoos.

I have to make another calendar or two this year so that we have enough space to put gifts for three little girls next Advent. If that wasn't enough, my husband is also now wondering if he can have one. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Heavenly Sewing-time (Baby not Included)

The community college where I teach is on winter break. Maybe I should  be looking forward to spending days at home with my 9 month old, but forgive me, I am not. Not that I don't have the cutest, smartest, funniest, and amazing baby in the world. I actually do. And I love her so much I get tears in my eyes just thinking of her.

However, I do believe there is a place for giving mommy a break. After getting up at 4:45am to make it to work on time all semester (And it wasn't like she actually let me sleep through the night), I am granting myself a couple of baby less and job less days this week. Hurray! I am sitting in my office, finishing my husbands Christmas stocking, drinking tea, and listening to holiday music. Two sleeping cats are curled up in the hear from my desk lamps. Heaven!

A few years ago, when I went to Scotland to celebrate new years with a friend, I picked up some tartan fabrics that I have had lying around since then.
Today I lined Patrick's new stocking with the bright red one. It makes me smile to see how a tiny bit of the bright red tartan peeks out.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Drafting for a new hexagon quilt...

As I showed you in the previous post, there were some stunning hexagon quilts in Houston. I was so impressed and inspired that I went home and started drafting a new hexagon quilt for myself.

Never mind the colors I chose in the diagram. I am only using these to get some contrast while drafting.
I am thinking about making that "crooked" knife edge finish I showed you in the previous post from Houston.

The plan is to use dozens of different fabrics in a plentitude of colors for the flowers and stars. The background I think I am going to do in a solid or semisolid greenish gray.

Japanese Hexagons in Houston

I went to Houston this year for the first time. Do I need to say that it was inspiring?

I was particularly enthralled with all the Japanese quilts that were there. The insane amount of time, precision, creativity, and skill that goes into these beauties is just staggering.

The hexagon quilts were fascinating. I remember hexagons with paper piecing as something we did when we were kids. Fifth grade or so maybe?
 English paper piecing isn't exactly a new technique, of course, but in these quilts it it was done to perfection! It is fun that these traditional patterns are seeing such a come back.

I went back and looked at them over and over again and I think I learned a few things and got a few ideas....there are some photos below that show some of the cool techniques and designs.


I love the effect of these big hexagon flowers. This quilt reminds me of the English quilts from the late 1700s and early 1800's. This one looks like it is ready to cast in a Jane Austin drama.

Here is a detail from a quilt that used small hexagon flowers as a detail in the corners. Sweet and effectivel. Love the fuzzy-cutting. 

 Just look at this quilt, and guess how big the hexagons were? About 1/4 inch. I think I cried when I saw it. But then I decided to learn from this piece of perfection.Here are some things to notice:

Lesson 1: The artist fuzzy cut every one of her thousands of little hexagon pieces to perfection. 

Lesson 2: Look at the background! The artist chose to use several related greys, blues, and greens to create a more alive background.

Lesson 3: The quilting is pretty light. She quilted lines throughout the quilt but made no attempt to cover all the hexagons. This makes sense because the hexagons are insanely small, but it also means there isn't a bunch of quilting competing with the intricacy of the piecing.

 Lesson 4: Mix hexagons with other techniques. Look at the appliqué and the little yoyo's.

Then there is was this quilt. Again, the hexagons were tiny, maybe 1/2 inch or so. Stunning?

Loved the knife edge finish on this one. Is it just me, or does it look like it is hanging sideways?

Here is another hexagon quilt that stopped me in my tracks. I think the individual hexagons are about 1/2 inch.

Notice that the quilt is on an angle! I have no idea how the artist gets this to work out. look at the edges. It's pretty interesting, I think.

Notice that this artist too used several closely related fabrics in their background, but this time they are taupish pinks and greens and browns. It creates depth.

Notice the "wakeup" flowers in strong colors stuck in between all the more well mannered ones? The artist is really mastering the ability to use a wide variety if colors while still making the overall effect cohesive and harmonious. This is not easy to do.

After having seen these beauties, I started to itch for some paper templates....

Hello Kitty becomes classy....

Apparently Hello Kitty ( or rather I assume, Sanrio) collaborated with Liberty of London to make a Tawna Lawn meets Hello Kitty collection.

 I ordereded some of the fabrics on Etsy. They were shipped to me from a seller in Tokyo. Even the envelope had Hello Kitty stamps on it. You just can't beat that.

Here is the link to the Etsy-store where I got them.

Doesn't these fabrics make you smile?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Stitching With the Season

I love fall!

And I love Halloween!

Every year I get this urge to stitch something for the changing seasons: fall projects during the fall, Christmas projects for the holidays, something cutesy with bunnies on it for spring. This year is no different so I whipped out this cute pattern from Homespun Elegance.

Friday, September 28, 2012

To Rip Or Not To Rip....

I thought it was strange that the whole line of words didn't stretch farther towards to margin of the sampler.

I stitched this when Maya was just a few weeks old and I believe I was hallucinating from sleep deprivation around then...so I probably just shrugged my shoulders and went to change a diaper.

I picked it back up now and realized I have left the "r" out of the word "Christmas".  Now what do I do?

Do I rip out the whole sentence and get it done right? Or do I leave it like it is, take it to get it framed, and when Maya is old enough, I show her the spelling error and explain to her how it came to pass.