formation: an art quilt.

Formation by Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosIt’s Friday, and I’m excited to have a finish to share with you! This is Formation. A wall hanging that I made for over my fireplace. It measures approximately 30˝ x 40˝, and is densely matchstick quilted by machine with (OOPS) hand quilting thread!

Apparently this is not good for my machine, and I should not have done this.

IMG_5685But it looks sooooooooooo good!
IMG_5670I finished this quilt with an “art quilt”-style binding, rather than a traditional binding (see the clean edge?), because I wanted to emphasize the minimalist nature of the design. In order to make the binding, I followed Victoria Gartenbach’s tutorial. The tutorial was excellent, but I ran into some trouble due to how dense the quilting was on Formation. It made it harder to turn the edges and press them to the back with a clean edge. In the future, if I am planning to make an art quilt-type binding again, I will remember to end quilting a quarter inch from the edge of the quilt. That would make it much easier to press the edges to the back, as there would not be so much body to the quilt — especially in the case of matchstick quilting.

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This is what the back looks like, just so you can see how the binding looks. Victoria’s tutorial does not use mitered corners, which I assume some art quilt bindings may, but given that you don’t see the back when it’s hanging on a wall, I’m not too concerned!

Formation by Kim Soper/Leland Ave Studios

This was the first time I’ve ever matchstick quilted, and the first time I’ve ever made an “art quilt”, so I’m really excited with the results. I think there is more of both in my future.

And before I sign off, I just wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone who left comments — both here and on Instagram — about my Lincoln quilt. Your support and encouragement means the world to me and put things back into perspective! The beauty of working in textiles is that if we do make mistakes, we can just use our seam rippers! You’re all so right! I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the kind words. You guys rock!

And now, here’s to a great weekend ahead! Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday!

on fear and creating.

Lincoln by Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosI’ve been working on a project that means a lot to me — for almost a year now. I have rarely shared it on social media. And I have yet to share it in this space as an assembled quilt top, until today. Sometimes, when things mean too much, they end up walking side by side with fear. And occasionally, that fear takes over — bringing the project to a screeching halt.

Lincoln by Kim Soper/Leland Ave Studios

Such has been the case with Lincoln. I am so excited about how it’s coming along. I am thrilled that I am able to use my vision for Improv With Intent to create a recognizable image that is neither paper pieced nor appliquéd. But because I took the time to step back and admit that am happy with the progress, I am terrified of going one step further. Fear, negative and destructive fear, has taken a hold of my rotary cutter and left me in a state of paralysis. It’s been months since I’ve made any new blocks for this quilt.

Lincoln by kim soper/lelandavestudios

I started this blog as an online diary — a way to keep track of my projects and what my thoughts were at the time of making those projects. I never knew if anyone would read it except for myself. But some of you did. And some of you stayed. And I thank you for that. Now, I am sharing this with you for a sense of accountability. And, because I am hoping that by making my fears known to the Universe, I can turn them into something positive: motivation.

Thanks for sticking with me through this pep talk. I know I just have to get the scrap bin out. Get moving. And make a mess. I’m hoping that now that you know what I need to do, I can get started. My inner critic is a loud talker. Sharing with you here will hopefully help me to push through the negative thoughts and get to work!

Linking Lets Bee Sewcial.

hourglass at sunset: new block tutorial

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperThanks for joining me on the 2016 Paintbrush Studio New Block Blog Hop! This hop’s palette (from their new line of solids Painter’s Palette) was inspired by an ocean sunset, and this block takes advantage of that theme using an easy-peasy “hourglass” foundation — with a twist! Let’s get started!

Supplies:

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper(1) 7 1/4″ square in Coral

(1) 7 1/4″ square in Daydream

(1) 7 1/4″ square in Peach

(1) 7 1/4″ square in Midnight

(1) 5 1/2″ square in White

You will also need a rotary cutter, self healing mat, ruler and a pen for marking.  All seam allowances are 1/4″. Unfinished block will measure 12 1/2″ square.

The How-To:

Step 1. Make Half-Square Triangles.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperPlace the Peach square directly on top of the Coral square (rights sides together). Similarly, place the Daydream square directly on top of the Midnight square. Using your pen, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back side of the Peach and Daydream squares.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

Sew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the marked diagonal line. Repeat for both squares.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

Cut each of the sewn pairs on the marked line.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

Press the seams open.

 

Step 2. Make the Hourglasses.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperOn the back of one of the half-square triangles (in each color), draw a diagonal line between the corners that are perpendicular to the seam.

Place the blocks right sides together making sure to match opposing colors on top of each other. (i.e., Peach will be on top of Coral/Coral on top of Peach. Midnight on top of Daydream/Daydream on top of Midnight).

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperSew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the marked diagonal line.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperCut on the diagonal line.

Press seams open and square up each block to 6 1/2″.

 

Step 3: Mark and Slice the hourglasses.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperPlace your hourglass blocks on the cutting mat in an arrangement that is pleasing to you. In my case, the Midnight triangles are on the top and bottom, and the Coral/Peach blocks are perpendicular to one another.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperFind the 2 1/2″ line on your ruler, and place it on the center seam line of each hourglass block. Mark the diagonal line. Make sure before cutting that all of your diagonal lines meet to form a diamond.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperCut on the marked lines.

 

Step 4: Cut and attach the white triangles.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperMark your White square across one diagonal from corner to corner, and then do the same across the other diagonal. Slice the White square on the marked lines so that you have 4 triangles.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperAttach a triangle to each of the hourglass blocks on the cut edge.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

Press seams open and square up the block to 6 1/2″.

Step 5: Assemble the block.

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim SoperUsing your quarter inch seam, attach all four hourglass blocks so that the White triangles meet in the center to form a diamond, and the matching hourglass blocks are diagonal from one another.

And you are done! So easy! And if you’d like to see the layout as a whole quilt, I’ve got you covered:

Hourglass Sunset Quilt EQ7

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and I appreciate you stopping by! And now for a giveaway!

Giveaway

Ocean Sunrise Palette

For a chance to win a half yard bundle of the Ocean Sunrise palette, please follow the Inspired by Fabric blog (either by email or blog reader) and leave a comment for Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl. For a second entry, follow Paintbrush Studio on Instagram (@pbstudiofabrics) and let Yvonne know about it in a second comment. The giveaway is open to everyone (international entries inclued), and the giveaway will be open through Friday, April 1st at 11:59 pm EDT. Good luck!

Hourglass Sunset by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

Please make sure to visit all of the other bloggers participating in the block hop (listed below). And a huge thanks to all of our hosts: Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl, Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter.

Host: Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs

Kim @Leland Ave Studios
Andrea @The Sewing Fools
Cassandra @The (not so) Dramatic Life
Stephanie @Quilt’n Party
Irene @Patchwork and Pastry
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Carrie @The Zen Quilter
Wanda @Wanda’s Life Sampler
Jayne @Twiggy and Opal

neon nova quilt.

Neon Nova by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

This is the quilt I made (with so much love) for my son’s room in our new house. Meet Neon Nova.

A little backstory: my son (who is 7) is obsessed with neon yellow. When we moved into our new home in November, he wanted his room to be neon yellow. While I knew that was never going to be an option, I also wanted to give him some neon yellow, so that he would feel excited to move into his big boy room (which was a huge departure from the old house, where he shared a room with his two younger brothers).

Neon Nova by Leland Ave Studios/Kim Soper

We painted a bookcase and the molding around his windows neon yellow. But the walls were painted a neutral beige. My husband was as unhappy with the yellow as my son was with the beige, so I knew it was the perfect compromise.

As we continued to fill his room with furniture and things that he loved, I decided to make a quilt that would tie everything together. There was a quilt (maybe a comforter) at Urban Outfitters a while back that I had liked, and I decided to try to recreate that pattern while incorporating the newly announced Kona color of the year — Highlight.

Neon Nova by Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosThe finished quilt measures approximately 63×90 (a generous size for a twin). The entire quilt is straight line quilted with 3/4″ apart lines. The quilt-front is is made using solid Kona cottons — celestial, ash, white, indigo, and (of course) highlight. The back is a mix of the fabrics used on the front with mostly Carkai in Navy by Carolyn Friedlander.

neon nova by leland ave studios/kim soper

I love it.  Imperfections and all.

That’s pretty much all I have to say. Oh, and it took about 6 weeks longer to finish than I had originally anticipated. So, um, poor planning on my part! Especially when you are setting expectations for a 7 year old! But other than that. I love it. He loves it. And that is exactly how I hoped this story would end.

neon nova by leland ave studios/kim soper

inspired by art: meredith gaston.

Improv Girl by Kim Soper/Leland Ave StudiosIf you are not familiar with her, Meredith Gaston is the author and illustrator of the book 101 Moments of Joy and InspirationIn addition, she is an extremely talented and accomplished artist. Her art is light and whimsical. I encourage you to check it out — it will just make you smile.

I made this girl on a lark after looking at some of the illustrations in Meredith’s book. I thought, “wouldn’t it be fun to turn an illustration into a quilt.” And just like that, I started cutting.

girl. by kim soper/leland ave studios

She is entirely improv pieced. Overall, I am pretty happy with the results. One of the only regrets I have is that the girl appears unhappy — even though I went into it with every intention of making a lighthearted and joyful composition! But with each misstep is a lesson learned, so, I’m still considering her a win!

While there are some areas that I imagined looking a little differently, there is also a “letting go” of sorts that I have to allow for when making this kind of quilt. Even when improv is done with a plan, or intention, one can merely guess at the final outcome.

You might remember from previous posts that I am currently exploring the idea of making a *completely* washable “art quilt”. It is the driving force behind the Lincoln project, and it continues to be an idea that I am trying to wrap my head around in a way that works for me.  This mini quilt was a way to try out the process in a more fun way, without getting too far sidetracked from the other WIPs I have going.  From start to finish, this girl came together in just a few days, and she’s now hanging proudly on the wall in my sewing room. Hooray for inspiration that strikes quickly and leads to a quick finish!

So, let me ask. Have you ever tried to improv piece with the intention of creating a specific image? If so, I’d love to hear all about it! ‘Cuz I’m kind of obsessed!

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish It Up Friday, because, well, it’s been a while!

out with the old, in with the new.

No longer a WIP, Leland Ave StudiosI’ve had a pile of WIPs in a basket in my sewing room for as long as I can remember. Not that this is a surprise, as most quilters do.

Every so often I would take these WIPs out. Mull over them. Possibly add something to them. And then quietly give up on them and stick them back in the basket.

The thing about these WIPs, unassuming as they are, is that they take up space. Both physical and mental clutter. And there is a certain amount of guilt associated with each one. The money spent on materials. The time spent on getting started. And the feeling that no work should be left incomplete.

And yet, there is a reason they remain endlessly “in-progress.” Perhaps the process became less interesting as the work progressed. Or the task of completing them required time or skill that we either don’t possess or we no longer want to dedicate to the project. And so they sit. Taking their toll, ever so silently, on our psyche.

The WIPs in this quilt were a little bit of all of the above. The improv pieced stars began in Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s 15 Minutes of Play class. I was too intimidated to finish the quilt we started that day, back in July 2013. So there they sat. I picked out the polka dot fabric with Victoria, specifically for that quilt, and I felt obligated to finish it just as we had planned.

The triangles were from an entire quilt I had cut using the E-Z triangle ruler, long before it became a sponsor for QuiltCon West. Except, I hadn’t read the directions. So I cut them ALL WRONG. An Entire Quilt Worth. I tried to sew them together despite my mistake. And none of the points were matching up. Tips of triangles were getting cut off. Not so E-Z as planned.  Sooooo I abandoned it; disappointed in myself and the wasted fabric.

The navy and polka dot stripe quilt was made because I was inspired by Maura Ambrose. I finally decided to use that fabric I had picked out with Victoria, and I thought for a noble cause. It was simple, it was pieced precisely, but it wasn’t really me. Because I was trying to be someone else — someone who makes perfectly simple quilts using perfectly simple hand-dyed organic fabrics. Of course it fell flat, as is bound to happen when being someone you’re not.

And finally, all of that glorious Doe fabric. Just waiting to become an Oodalolly quilt from Rachel Hauser’s Curves class. But I fell behind in the class, and with Oodalolly being the last project, well. . . it just never happened. I quit before I got past the second block, and moved on to other things.

You can see how bringing all of these perceived “failures” into one quilt that is utterly “me” has been cathartic. Not only am I clearing out the clutter from my sewing room, but I’m clearing out the guilt and the shame associated with each of these unfinished projects. It’s like a fresh start to move forward with new ideas that are entirely my own.

Will the WIP pile add up again some day? Probably. But for now, I’m starting 2016 with a clean slate, and it feels like the possibilities are endless!

Again, a very Happy New Year to you! My wish for us all: that the creative ideas from the universe find us and guide us to bring them to light in the new year ahead! Hooray 2016!

No longer a WIP, Leland Ave Studios

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday.

hell-o-o? it’s me. . .

I was wondering if after all these months you’d like to read. . .

Version 2Um, so, hiiiiiii. How are you? How were your holidays? Were they good? I’ve missed you. I hope (maybe?) you missed me, too? Whatcha been up to? I’ll tell you where we’ve been. We moved! Just a short move, really —  two miles down the road or so. But it took place in that short window of time between Halloween and Thanksgiving. So as soon as we (*ahem* I) got our heads above the boxes, it was time to prepare for the holidays. And before I knew it, I hadn’t sewn a thing in months! And, well, this being a sewing blog and all, there’s not much for me to talk about when I dont have sewing stuff to share! But I’m hoping to make things happen in 2016. I’m not exactly prepared to make a list of resolutions this year (we see how that ended up last year). But I am ready for whatever 2016 has to bring, and I have a new sewing studio to do it in!

I’ll share more as it gets into shape, but for now I’ll leave you with a sneak peek that I shared earlier on IG.

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Happy New Year, friends! I hope you’ll forgive me for the radio silence. I also hope this transition from 2015 into 2016 finds you in good health, good spirits and looking forward to a beautiful year to come!

Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop: Summer Perseid Block

IMG_4825Hi! And thanks for joining me on the 2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop! I’m calling this block the Summer Perseid, because the idea came to me after watching shooting stars on the dock of a lake one night this summer with my oldest son.

As this is the third day of the hop, you probably know the hop’s sponsor, Fabri-Quilt, who generously supplied all hop members with fat eighths of their Prairie Cloth Solids in a juicy Watermelon Summer Palette. This block uses small bits of all of the colors provided, but you can tailor it to your desires. The center can be all one color, the arms of the star can each be a different color, it’s really up to you! I’ve created this tutorial based on the photograph above, so let’s get started!

Supplies:

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(2) 7-1/4″ squares of lapis blue solid

(2)- 7-1/4″ squares of turquoise solid

(2)- 1″x 7″ strips of lapis blue solid

(4)- 3″ x 8″ strips of white solid

(4) – 1″ x 7″ strips of white solid

(1) – small 2-1/2″ triangle of fabric each in chartreuse, turquoise, coral, and aqua solid.

(1)-  pen of choice for marking, ruler, and rotary cutter.

Note: all seam allowances are 1/4″. This block is 12.5″ unfinished, or 12″ finished.

The How-To:

Step 1: Make the lapis blue and turquoise half-square triangles (HSTs).

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Place a lapis blue square directly on top of a turquoise square. Using your pen, draw a diagonal line from corner to corner on the back side of each lapis blue square.

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Sew a seam 1/4″ on either side of the marked diagonal line. Repeat for both squares. Cut each of the sewn pairs on the marked line.

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Press open and square up each to 6-1/2″ square.

Step 2: Sew the strips together.

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Sew a 1″ x 7″ white strip to either side of a 1″ x 7″ lapis blue strip as shown. Make two sets and press all seams open. Tip: I find it easier to press each seam as I sew, rather than waiting to press. It makes everything lie neat and flat when working with close-together seams.

Step 3: Mark and slice the HSTs.

IMG_4802 edit

Place two of your HSTs on your cutting mat as shown (turquoise on top, lapis blue on the bottom), and on each, mark a diagonal line from 4″ left of the bottom right corner to 4″ up from that same corner. Cut on the drawn line. Make sure you keep the triangle scraps that you cut off, as you will reuse these in a minute.

Step 4: Attach the strips and triangle scrap. Trim.

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Attach the sewn strips of white and lapis blue to the cut edge of the HSTs.

IMG_4806Then attach the cut lapis blue triangle scrap to the raw edge of the strips. Press all seams open. Using the original lapis blue edges of the HST as your guide, trim the existing fabric back to 6-1/2″ square.

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Step 5: Mark and slice the star arms.

IMG_4809 edit

Place the two striped HSTs on your cutting mat so that the white strips are angled in the bottom right corner. With your pen, draw a line from 2″ left of the bottom right corner to 1/2″ down from the top right corner  (as shown).

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Place your ruler on the diagonal line and cut.

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Draw the same diagonal line on the two, plain HSTs and cut.

Step 6: Sew and trim the star arms.

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Sew a 3″ x 8″ piece white fabric to the cut edge of each HST. Press seams open. Then using the original edges of the square, re-trim square to 6-1/2″ square. You will have two finished squares that look like the above, and two that look like the picture below.

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Step 7: Making the center diamond.

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Place your squares on the cutting mat so that the  star arm is in on the right side of the square, points up. On each square, slice a small angle (Tip: no more than 2″ from the corner on either side) from the bottom right corner of the star arm. How much or how little you cut is up to you! If you’d like all of your corners to meet perfectly, you can cut the same amount from each square. If you’d like your diamond to have a “wonky” effect, you can cut a slightly different amount or angle from each square. How you arrange it is up to you. I’ve cut a different color for each square, and chosen to make mine slightly wonky.

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Sew a colored triangle to each cut edge. Press seams open and trim square to 6-1/2″.

Step 8: Assemble the block.

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Using your quarter inch seam, attach all four squares to form the shape of the star so that the colored diamond pieces meet in the center, and the striped blocks are diagonal from one another (as shown above).

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And there you have it! A Summer Perseid Block all your own! I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial, and I appreciate you stopping by! Now, for some fun stuff. . .


A FABRIC GIVEAWAY!

color-palette-3

 

For a chance to win your own half-yard bundle in Watermelon Summer Palette of Prairie Cloth Solids, visit Quilting Jet Girl and Inspired By Fabric for all of the details!

Please make sure to visit all of the other bloggers participating in the block hop (listed below). And a huge thanks to all of our hosts: Stephanie @Late Night Quilter’s , Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl and Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination.

Host – Stephanie @Late Night Quilter
Hannah @Modern Magnolia Studio
Cindy @Stitchin At Home
Abby @Hashtag Quilt
Lisa @Sunlight in Winter Quilts
Carrie @Chopping Block Quilts
Brianna @The Iron and Needle
Tish @Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland
Jan @The Colorful Fabriholic
Sarah @Smiles Too Loudly
Beth @Cooking Up Quilts
Leanne @Devoted Quilter
Liz @LizzyClips Design
Kim @Leland Ave Studios

Thanks again for stopping by!

a market street handbag for mom.

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I couldn’t resist making another Market Street Handbag by Kenzie Mac & Co. , this one for my mom. Originally I had intended to use some toiles, stripes and florals for her version, but I changed my mind when I came across Alison Glass‘s Ex Libris at my LQS.

Having made one of these bags before, I was able to concentrate on the finer details this time. I pieced together a panel of Art Theory between two strips of Botany Chambray. I quilted the entire bag in a diamond pattern using a thick gold variegated thread. And I was able to focus on the construction issues, too. As you can see above, my flat bottom bag is balancing on my deck’s handrail. . . something I have to admit. . .  you couldn’t do with the last bag I made!

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For the lining, I used Robert Kaufman’s Chambray and another Alison Glass print (Historical Fiction in Gold) for the pocket.

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I gave my mom the bag today for her birthday and she was thrilled with it! At first she was eyeing the original bag I’d made, but when she saw how carefully this one was constructed and how much the rainbow of colors popped against the neutral background fabrics, she was in love. I have to say, I really love it, too!

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday, Finish It Up Friday, and TGIFF. Have an awesome weekend!

2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop.

2015 Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop

 

Hello, Hello! And Happy Monday to you! I’m just popping in after a fun vacation week at home with the family to let you know that on September 2nd (our first day of school here in the northeast — time to get those school supplies), I’ll be participating in the Fabri-Quilt New Block Blog Hop! I’m really excited to share my block with you, and there are going to be SO MANY new blocks to see as part of this hop. We’re working with the juiciest summer color palette — just right to keep that end of summer feeling going as we ease our way into fall activities!

For more information, you can check out Quilting Jet Girl’s post on the hop, and you can feast your eyes on our fabric selection and her great tips on drafting a block tutorial of your own.

Hope you had a great weekend! I’ll be back with a finish to share at the end of the week!