Thursday, March 31, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 3/31/16

Happy last day of March, everyone!

So this started happening on Tuesday The lightbulb had burned out in the kitchen ceiling light. When I got ready to change it, I noticed the fixture was starting to separate from the ceiling. Weird.

By yesterday, it looked like this.
Seriously. The light box was not braced to anything, just shoved up in the ceiling, by the person who did the wiring when we remodeled the kitchen about eight years ago.

The electrician (not  the one who originally wired it) just left. Things are good as new. Whew. Electricity always makes me a bit nervous...

Backtracking to the weekend, our church has an Easter Eggstravaganza in a nearby park. This was the only picture I took--Charlotte kept the face painter busy doing more than her face. :)
Sunday was a great day as well. As we have done in the last several years, we had lunch in our patio after church.

Mark makes a huge stack of crepes and we have all kinds of fillings. Then because it was Levi's birthday on Sunday as well, everyone stayed through the afternoon.

Batting practice by the birthday boy. And later he was hitting water balloons. Have you seen these easy-fill water balloons? They are SO cool, and the kids had a blast with them.

More water fun.Charlotte was trying to get the little ones wet but things kind of backfired on her.
Where's Ella??
Birthday dinner: homemade mac and cheese, grilled chicken and strawberries. Can't believe this one is 8! It was a fun day.
Seen in a window. Quilting inspiration.
I'm sure this package was in great condition when shipped by the fabric company. And then FedEx took over. What happened??
And yes...
Any randomness happening in your world?

This weekend is the charity quilt auction. Tomorrow I will be reposting what I wrote last week for 52quilters. Hope you will stop by if you didn't get a chance to read it already.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Name Game: Springleaf Studios

I'm super excited to have Anne Deister here today from SpringLeaf Studios. Anne and I have been in the same bee for a few years, and last year at QuiltCon 2015 in Austin we were roommates! We got along so very very well.

Standing in front of her quilt at QuiltCon--I love this picture. :)
Then in July, Mark and I went to a reunion in western Kansas. Fresno to Denver is the best connection for us, and on the way home, Anne and her husband, Justin, had dinner with us near the airport.

How did you choose the name for your blog?

It took me forever to finally decide on a name for my blog. I knew right from the start that I eventually wanted to design and sell quilt patterns so I factored that into the decision making process. When I finally landed on SpringLeaf Studios it just felt right. I love leaves. I use leaf motifs in the decor of my house and take photographs of leaves everywhere I go. 

Green also happens to be my favorite color, especially bright yellowy spring greens. As for the 'spring' part of the name it's not only my favorite season but had the added bonus of offering great visual imagery. Leaves bouncing up and down on springs. This image of springs really helped sell me on the name SpringLeaf Studios. If I could animate my blog I'd have the leaves bouncing up and down just a little. For now though I settle for fabric leaves hanging from spring coils in front of my studio window valance.

Were there other names you considered, and can you share them with us?
Recently, I was cleaning files and came across the list of names I was considering. I very briefly thought about using some form of my own name. Even though my name is Anne, many people pronounce it Annie just because of the e on the end. I thought perhaps I could play on that with something like Annie's Obsession or Annie's Studio, but decided it's just not really me. Other names that popped up repeatedly used words like simply, chickadee or fresh in them. It seemed everything I came up with at first was already taken. That's what happens when you come to the party late but it all worked out for the best anyway.

Now that you are known by SpringLeaf Studios, are you happy with it or do you wish you could change it to something else?

SpringLeaf Studios is totally right. I'm quite happy with it and love that I've been able to turn the leaf design into my avatar as a visual means of identity and branding.
I think naming can be one of the hardest things about any endeavor. My problem now is naming quilts and patterns. Besides the blog name ideas, I also found a list of words I like as potential quilt or pattern names. Glad to have come across that list as I think I can put it to use soon with some new patterns later this year. 

Thanks so much for inviting me to play the Name Game with you Cindy. Meeting you online and then in real life as QuiltCon roomies has played a big part of my quilting journey. Thanks ever so much for your friendship. I means the world to me.   : )

And it means the world to me as well, Anne!

I highly recommend checking out Anne's Color Inspiration series. There is a tab at the top of her blog page. Scrolling through all her gorgeous pictures will be time very well spent. You can also follow her on Instagram (@springleafstudios).

Friday, March 25, 2016

Friday Finish: Rosette 3

While this quilt is by no means finished, and won't be for awhile, each time I finish a rosette, it is a major accomplishment!

This is Rosette 3 (out of 12) from the New Hexagon Millefiore Quiltalong, all rosettes designed by Katja Marek. I have found a renewed interest in working on this, and hope to complete it by the end of 2016.

I'm using only fabric designed by Denyse Schmidt. And this rosette measures 38 inches from side to side.
I'm linking up today with Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Fort Worth Fabric Studio.

Hope your weekend is a good one.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Really Random Thursday, 3/24/16

What has your week been like?

It's spring break here. Saturday morning it was nice enough to go outside.
Gotta love bubbles. I never get tired of them.

Instagram threatened to make changes and so a lot of people were trying out another app called Ello. I wanted to at least claim my name, Live a Colorful Life. However, to this point, I find it very clunky, slow, and so much harder to navigate. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Instagram leaves a good thing alone!

My friend, Debbie, a fantastic gardener, designed a succulent garden for the pot by our front door. I told her she needed to be on retainer to make sure I don't kill everything in it, as that is a definite possibility.
I've been enjoying hosting Week 12 at 52 Quilters, both on the blog and on Instagram. Stop by if you have a chance.
Yesterday it was time for our spring pedicure. The week before Easter, daughter-in-law Christa, granddaughter Charlotte and I get the first coat of polish on our toes after a long winter in socks. We always make a stop at Starbucks beforehand. We were joking that we need to start keeping track of all the variations of "Charlotte" that Starbucks is able to come up with. This year it was "Charoleste."
I saw this somewhere. Probably Instagram. If you're a quilter, you know this is true.
And this is a good one to end this week's edition of Really Random. Thanks, Susan (@yardgrl60).

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

52 Quilters: Week 12

Do you follow 52 Quilters on Instagram (@52quilters) and on their blog? Each week a different quilter takes over their feed, and this week it's my turn! You can read the introductory post here.
And there is a little tour of my sewing space here.  I'll be back with more posts later in the week.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Delta Breeze: A tutorial

Did you know this weekend is International Quilting Weekend? I like the idea of a weekend devoted to quilting, although I try to spend a lot of my weekends with my sewing machine.

I made this quilt last year, using Soho Solids by Timeless Treasures. The tutorial for the blocks was on their website, and I thought it might be a good idea to share it here as well.
There are only two blocks, each based on the classic bear paw block. They are simple to make, and the solids give them a lot of visual "pop." Twisting and turning the blocks in different directions will give you lots of design options.

I started out with a limited edition fat quarter stack called Plume. I added the following neutrals: 1 1/2 yards each of Fog, Milk, and Linen, and 1 yard of Dove. I decided Dove was a bit too gray so it became part of the backing.

Top row, L to R: Velvet, Sailor, Petunia, Wave, Capri
Bottom row, L to R: Jade, Scuba, Island, Vine, Honey
Neutrals, top to bottom: Fog, Milk, Linen, Dove

The quilt is 48" x 48", and each block is 8" x 8" finished. The extra neutral yardage gave me enough for both the backing and the binding. If you would rather not piece the backing, then you will need neutrals totaling approximately 2 yards for the blocks, 3 yards for the backing, and 1/3 yard for the binding.

In addition, you will need the following:
Rotary cutter, quilting ruler, mat
Starch, pins, neutral thread
Batting: 54" x 54"

Spray starch (or a starch alternative) onto the back of your fabrics before you cut to help stabilize the bias edge of the half square triangles.

For this quilt, I made 27 of Block A and 9 of Block B, but it would certainly be easy to make more or less of either one. 

For each Block A, cut the following:
I like to cut the squares for the half-square triangles (HSTs) just a bit larger so I can trim them for accuracy. When you have sewn the HSTs together, trim them to 2 1/2" x 2 1/2". Then construct Block A like this:
Block B is very similar. For each block, cut the following:

Make the bear paw unit, trimming your HST units to 1 1/2" x 1 1/2",  and then construct the rest of the block like this:
For each Block A and Block B, I made a variety of color combinations, mostly two colors with a neutral, and several with one color and a neutral, and even a few with neutrals only. Then just twist and turn the blocks until you find a setting that makes you happy. Sew the blocks into rows, and then sew the rows together.

Because of all the sharp points, my machine quilter, Darby Myers of  Quilted Squid, used a nice and curvy Baptist Fan design.
For the backing, I pieced together the leftover neutral yardage (Milk, Dove, and Fog, plus my first practice block) and then used the remaining Linen for the binding.
I hope you enjoy making your own version of Delta Breeze.
If you like to binge watch shows while you are sewing, you will want to check out The Quilt Show, which is an online quilting show and magazine all in one. You will be able to access and watch the shows for free from their first seven seasons, and there are prizes to be won!

An interesting side note is that each year, Alex and Ricky choose a "quilting legend," someone who has had a great impact on the quilting community over the years. Every year, Mark makes the plaque that is presented to the legend. Each one features the star from The Quilt Show logo, but he customizes the colors to fit the recipient.

I'm so proud that his artwork is in the homes of people like Jinny Beyer, Michael Flynn, Libby Lehman, and Alex Anderson herself. In fact, one year Alex and Ricky highlighted his work on the show, and all of the audience members received a pendant. It was pretty awesome.

These are our Glassy Quilts. Each one consists of a fused glass "frame" and a handmade 3" quilt block. We no longer make them, but if you are interested, we still have some available. 

If you make a version of Delta Breeze, one of my favorite quilts from 2015, please let me know--I'd love to see it. And be sure to check out The Quilt Show this weekend. Happy sewing!