Scatterbrain Quilt No.2

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Scatterbrain Quilt No.2

Watching Bob Ross while quilting
When it comes to craft projects, I rarely make the same thing twice, but my newly-completed Scatterbrain Quilt No.2 marks my first quilt repeat! Well...kinda. 

My first Scatterbrain quilt, was a crazy quilt-as-you-go adventure with no regard for color, pattern, or sanity which made this "repeat" project feel far from repetitive. I mentally call these two quilts my "Bob Ross quilts" because of my approach to them. "We don't have mistakes, just happy accidents!" I even watched a good deal of Bob Ross' "Joy of Painting" while I worked on the quilt. His show makes for great, relaxing background noise.

Scatterbrain Quilt No.2 was made as a commission for my friend and coworker (as well as super talented fabric designer) Patty Sloniger. She provided me with a bin of adorable fabric scraps to work with made diving into this project extra exciting. Being a relatively new quilter, I'm eager to see new fabrics (new to me anyway) in person. 

One of my favorite parts of this quilt (as well as Patty's) is the big pink pencil near the center! I often doodle ideas for quilt blocks when I have a minute of free time, and this pencil was one of the results. I love how easy it was to piece, and I think the payoff far exceeds the effort it takes. In fact, I also just completed a mini-quilt for the May Houston Modern Quilt Guild swap using these pencil blocks. I plan to blog about it later this week, so check back!

In the end, I was both sad to hand this baby over yet happy that my work could bring a smile to someone else's face. 

Name: Scatterbrain Quilt No.2
Size: 44 x 50"
Fabric: Too many to mention, but lots of Patty Sloniger's own designs!
Pattern: Whatever I felt like! This was the first time I made my pencil block though.
Quilting: Quilt as You Go
Completed: April 28, 2014 

Quilt-opedia Book Review

Sunday, April 20, 2014

I'm always looking for any excuse to buy books, so when I heard about Quilt-opedia  by Laura Jane Taylor, it was an obvious impulse buy. I've had it for a couple weeks now, and felt like it deserved a thorough review.

When it come to craft books, I usually prefer books that focus more on general techniques, materials, and tips, but I also enjoy some specific projects and patterns. Most of the quilt books I have read seem to lean strongly to one side or the other for their content. Quilt-opedia on the other hand, tries to be the best of both worlds with half of the book focusing on general equipment, materials, techniques, and skills, and the second half devoted to projects. The book's tagline is "The only quilting reference you'll ever need," which I'll say is quite the overstatement. However, it's a decent general reference for beginning quilters. And when I say reference, I mean that in the most literal sense. This book is not going to teach you how to quilt. It will however, reinforce what you already know and give you a quick answer to any brainfarts.

Generally, Quilt-opedia has good illustrations and photography and plenty of fabric porn that help distract from its faults, primarily the nonsensical organization of the first half of the book. To best review it's strong points and shortcomings, I'll be breaking it down section-by-section. Brace yourselves for all my feels.

A Quilt Timeline

Thursday, April 17, 2014

I started quilting at the very beginning of January this year (New Year's Day in fact), but I'm already starting to worry about keeping track of my quilts. An article I read in Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine suggested keeping a "quilt log" in addition to labeling your quilts. I'm still trying to decide how I want to label my quilts (both future projects and retroactively), but I did manage to take a few photos yesterday evening to start my log. Additionally, I figured a quilt timeline would be a good first non-introductory post.

Name: Noob Quilt
Size: Approx. 50 x 60"
Fabric: Pattern: N/A

Quilting: In the ditch
Completed: January 2, 2014

Name: Queen Size Quilt of Doom
Size: 88 x 96"
Bunny Brigade & Forest Frolic by Alyssa Thomas, Rooted Eventide by Bonnie Christine, Line Leaf by Eloise Renouf, Blue Jars & Treehouse (Fort Firefly) by Teagan White, Birch Trees, Bitty Buds, and Star Pods by Patty Sloniger, Brush Bear by Sarah Watts, and Stitch Basics (lines and squares) from Michael Miller. 
Pattern: N/A
Quilting: Hand-quilted Xs on the blocks and lines on the L shapes.

Completed: March 30, 2014

Name: Fox Field. How creative.
Size: Approx. 30 x 36"
Fabric: Fox Field fat quarter bundle in Dusk colorway

Pattern: Blocks from Tula Pink's 100 Modern Quilt Blocks (plus two of my own)
Quilting: Free motion wishbones in the sashing
Completed: March 23, 2014 (I finished this one before the Queen Size Quilt of Doom but I started it after QSQD was in progress for a few weeks, so I say it's my 3rd quilt)

Name: Untitled. This one is a present for my BFF Kate's graduation present. She's getting her masters! 
Size: Approx. 30 x 36"
Fabric: Too many to mention. Lots of Tula Pink and Patty Sloniger pieces though.

Pattern: Japanese X & Plus
Quilting: All-over stipple
Completed: April 5, 2014 

Name: Scatterbrain Quilt No.1
Size: 44 x 50"
Fabric: Too many to mention. Lots of Tula Pink and Patty Sloniger pieces though.

Pattern: Whatever I felt like! A lot of it was made up as I went.
Quilting: Quilt as You Go
Completed: April 14, 2014 

A Formal Introduction

Monday, April 14, 2014

Welcome to Sew Scatterbrained! My name is Felice Regina. I'm a graphic designer by day, manic crafter (and aspiring fabric designer) by night. The contrast isn't as dramatic as Bruce Wayne to Batman, but it's a transformation nonetheless. 

So why the blog? Being the crafty, artsy-fartsy person I am, I have my own site, and I guess what you could call an art blog on Tumblr already. I made a brief and admittedly half-hearted effort at more crafty-focused blogging before, but I was in college at the time and the thought quickly fell to the wayside. 

But things have changed! I graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio a year ago with my BA in art and a minor in business. I've been working as a graphic designer in my hometown of Houston, Texas ever since. Working from 8am to 5pm (and the occasional late night) instead of studying opened up a nice chunk of stress-free time in the evening to simply do what I love most: make things. 

During my last semester of college, my web design professor (whose class I totally fell into almost by accident), the amazingly inspiring Dr. Aaron Delwiche introduced me to the maker culture, and I had one of those "a-ha!" moments. People have always described me as a creative, crafty, and artistic person, yet somehow I felt like those words didn't get to the core of what I am passionate about. I recalled the first day of one of my recent art classes in which the professor asked us to introduce ourselves and share our favorite creative media. There were oil painters, ceramic sculptors, photographers, etc. I wracked my brain for what I would say. I loved so many things. Watercolor, paper-making, book-binding, sewing, and so on. My turn came before I could narrow down my options, and I ended up awkwardly and flatly announcing, "My name is Felice and I...uh...I make things," and sat down. 

I make all kinds of things, usually in an unintentional pattern: 
  1. See photo of a thing 
  2. Have sudden, insatiable urge to make the thing 
  3. Read a barrage of books, blog posts, tutorials, etc. on how to make the thing 
  4. Buy/find all crap I need to make the thing 
  5. MAKE THE THING (in varying degrees of success)
  6. Learn ways to make the thing faster/better/cooler/cheaper
  7. Make things passionately and aggressively
  8. Reach relative burnout
  9. Take a short break from making to play some video games, catch up on reading blogs, Pinterest...
And the cycle continues. 

In case you were wondering what kind of crafts and maker-centric activities I've dabbled in (in no particular order): illustration (my main squeeze), web design, paper-making, book-binding, watercolor painting, crochet, French beading, cross stitch, embroidery, general sewing, quilting, wood sculpture, copper patinas, furniture restoration, photography, scrapbooking, candle-making, baking...I can't remember any more but I'm sure there are a few others. 

If this blog continues, one trend you will notice with me is abrupt endings. I said what I had to say! Why waste your time? Consider this introduction concluded.