Monkey Wrench–A Focus Through the Prism Project QUILTING Challenge, May

Can you believe it’s time for the first ‘Focus Through the Prism’ Project QUILTING Challenge!?  I know you’ve all been waiting so patiently for this moment and I thank you for all your enthusiasm!  To go over the story behind the challenge be sure to check out THIS POST and of course the FAQ post!

The Inspiration Block:  Monkey Wrench!

In honor of my good friend Trisha Frankland and May being her birthday month I asked her what her favorite block was – a Monkey Wrench!  So – that’s what we all get to be inspired by this month! 
monkey wrench
If you search ‘Monkey Wrench’ there are a few different versions out there but to be consistent I would like your inspiration to come from the Monkey Wrench Block above.
  • Each final project should read predominantly as one color in the spectrum: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, or violet. 
  • A ROYGBIV hand-dyed color bundle of fabric must be purchased from Cherrywood Fabrics  Hopefully you already have your bundle but you can join in the fun anytime … just make sure you have your quit done by the end of the month!
  • You must use ONE fabric from the ROYGBIV challenge bundle in each quilt which should correspond with the color you want your quilt to ‘read’.
  • Any other fabrics from your stash may be added.
  • You must use the month's block
  • Quilts must finish 20” square.
  • Share the story behind your quilt and how the block ‘Monkey Wrench’ was the inspiration.
  • Your quilt must have a name.
  • Pictures of your FINISHED 20” square quilts must be LINKED UP at the bottom of this post by 11:55pm CST on Sunday, May 31st (Trisha’s actual birthday). 
  • A 4" quilt rod pocket will need to be added to the back of the quilt before you send it to me January.  Check out THIS tutorial for how to do this.
Monkey Wrench Quilt
Other info …
    • I would still love if everyone posted to the Flickr Group as that makes making mosaics and looking over things much easier, but it is no longer required.
    • There is now a ‘Focus Through the Prism’ Facebook Group and a ‘Challenge Quilts’ Facebook Group you can join in on to share your thoughts, questions, or whatever related to quilting challenges.  You can always post progress pictures there if you want too!
    • Haven’t ordered your bundle yet?  No worries!  Order now!  You can join in on all seven or just one challenge! 
    • Please use the hastag #pqoff #focusthroughtheprism #roygbiv when posting on social networking sites to help spread the word
    • ‘How to link up to a Link Up’ post
    • Prizes! There will be a grand prize at the end … more details to come.  In the meantime – check out THIS POST for details about the randomly drawn prizes given out each month just for completing the challenge!
    • I put together two tutorials for 20” Monkey Wrench Blocks – in either a 3 x 3 grid or a 5 x 5 grid HERE.

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Floressence Fabric Feature

I may have a bit of a fabric stash.  I’m going to start sharing with some pictures of fabrics I’ve acquired and tell you what caught my eye about them that I thought they should be added to my stash.  I rarely buy fabric with a project in mind and I do my best to purchase whatever moves me at the time knowing that it will someday get put to good use!Floressence from Art Gallery FabricsThis collection, Floressence, is from Art Gallery Fabrics.  I am particular towards Art Gallery because the fabric is not only beautiful but it feels amazing!  Seriously – if you haven’t pet some fabric from Art Gallery I highly recommend you head out to your local quilt shop and seek it out so you can ‘Feel the Difference’. 

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10028 Floresta Cashmere

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Floresta Cashmere – This is a partially directional print.  It can either go up or down.  These are slightly tricky to work with but it can be done.  

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10026 Lotus Cerise

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Lotus Cerise – this reminds me sort of a modern plaid.  I can’t wait to cut this up and use the texture that will be created – especially if I cut it on the bias!

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10022 Veiled Scarletts

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Veiled Scarletts – this diamond print is absolutely fabulous!  If you cut it perpendicular to the ‘lines’ shown you’ll get a ‘stripe’ effect and it would be fantastic as a binding or even a sashing strip!

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10027 Joie du Jour

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Joie du Jour – an adorable ditzy print.  These are always great in ones stash.  I would probably use this one as a ‘background’ fabric mixed with other ditzy on white/off white prints.

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10021 Trellis Gentian

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Trellis Gentian – texture, movement, gorgeous color.  Yes please!

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10024 Notes of Mist

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Notes of Mist –  when I look at this I want to applique clouds onto an art quilt.  If cut carefully (there is a directionalism to this print) it would be a fabulous stripe element to a quilt.  But you’d have to cut super straight to achieve this so be care!

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10029 Notes of Freesia

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Notes of Freesia – and this one reminds me of cotton candy or balloons.  Definitely a fantastic piece to work with on applique projects.

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10020 Acqua di Rose Jade

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Acqua di Rose Jade – big, watercolor-esque floral prints.  Always a must for my collection!

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10023 Meadow Aroma Creme

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Meadow Aroma Crème – stunning!  This is a large print.  This would look great fussy cut or pretending it’s just one solid piece.  By cutting it up and using it like it’s a regular size print you create odd elements to a quilt that will really catch peoples attention.  BUT be careful – this can completely mess with value so be aware of what you’re doing and know that this can be tricky to piece with.

Floressence Fabric Swatch FS-10025 Fragrant Corsage Rouge

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Fragrant Corsage Rouge – another large floral print!  Gorgeous color combination.  Gorgeous unexpected texture in the backgrounds.  This will truly add some unexpected elements pieced into a quilt – I’m always looking for the unexpected.  Again – BE CAREFUL with value!

What do you think of my new blogging addition about how I pick fabric?  Do you think this will help you understand my choices more?  Does it just confuse you more?  Let me know!  I’d love to hear from you!

Floressence Fabric

Elephant in the Middle Quilt

The actual title of this quilt is “Monkey Elephant in the Middle” but they wouldn’t let me put strikethrough text in my title.

monkey wrench sketch

I’ve found myself sketching ideas a lot more often then I ever used to before I start working on a new design.  The ‘Focus Through the Prism’ Challenge block was the Monkey Wrench for May.

The big thing now was – Can I actually make it work!?

   monkey wrench blocks

After the I had the first two blocks I knew that this was going to work!

monkey wrench blocksAnd before I knew it six blocks were together …

monkey wrench block layout

and then 9!  It was time to baste and quilt!

free motion quilting

I used my Bernina to do straight line stitching in the ‘dark’ areas of the monkey wrench blocks. 

free moition quilting

And then I put my free motion foot on and did pebble quilting in the ‘light’ areas.  I am so happy with how my quilting turned out!  It really added to the finished quilt and made the two sections – light and dark really show up!

 Elephant in the Middle Quilt

And voila!  Here is my final quilt! 

Quilt Stats

Name: Monkey Elephant in the Middle
Size: 20” square
Focus Color: Yellow
Designed, Pieced and Quilted by: Kim Lapacek

Elephant in the Middle Quilt - value check And by making my image black and white I can do a value check.  And what do you know – it was actually successful!!!!!  This isn’t that ‘crazy’ of a quilt but I am so proud of it!  Value in my quilts have always given me trouble and it feels so good to triumph over it for once.

Elephant in the Middle Quilt

I had fun doing the photo shoot on the deer fence.  The sky and clouds behind it were just stunning!

free motion quilting

Here’s a closer view of both the pebble quilting and the straight line quilting.  I used a yellow variegated thread from aurifil for the quilting.  It variegates from a light, almost white yellow to a deep, golden yellow, which also adds to the depth of this quilt.  I just love the contrast the soft and sharp lines make and it feels great when you swipe your hand across the quilt top too!

Elephant in the Middle Quilt

And for good measure … one more picture of Monkey Elephant in the Middle blowing in the wind.

So what do you think?  Would you like me to write up a pattern for this one?  Let me know!

 

Linking up to: Monkey Wrench, Focus Through the Prism Challenge, Finish It Up Friday, Can I Get a Whoop, Whoop?, TGIFF
Online Quilting Class

Ballet Recital 2015

My girls had their ballet recital this past Saturday.  They’ve been in dance since September and have been working really hard to be prepared for this performance.  AND – it was Pip’s very first recital ever! 

DancersI snagged a group shot of the girls with some of their friends who were also in the recital. 

Pip

I was in the WAY WAY WAY far back of the auditorium for both of the shows.  I had to put on my super zoom lens to get these shots but really … they could have definitely been worse!  Pip and TinsleyThis is Pip’s final pose at the end of the dance.  Every single time in practice and rehearsal, Pip just gets right on top of Tinsley and plays with her hair.

Pip and Tinsley

And for the final performance of the day Pip FINALLY does this!  It’s like she’s thinking, “Ta Da!  I did it and now I am done!”  I am so in love with this shot!

I don't want to be a Princess Dancers

Mercedi and Capri were both in the same dance class.

Cedi

This was Cedi’s fourth recital.  Check out those legs!  I call her #Cedilonglegs for a reason!Capri

And this was Capri’s third recital!  They all did wonderful and it was fantastic to watch.Magic Mirrors Dancers

And here is the final pose of their group. 

The entire recital was wonderful and you could just see how hard all the kids worked and how much talent there is in this group.  I have to admit it’s a lot more fun for me to go to the recitals now than when Cedi first started.  Now I know a lot more of the kids that are in the show and it’s fun to see how much they’ve grown as kids and dancers.

Miss Erin and Pip Montage

But the main reason I keep my kids in dance is because of their teacher – Miss. Erin.  Miss Erin is absolutely wonderful!  She not only teaches my kids to dance but to have fun, to try their hardest, and to enjoy every minute of life.  I just had to share the shots I took of Miss Erin with Pip in the finale.  Pip was having  a ‘Pip’ moment in the final finale.  She was tired and didn’t really want to be up there. 

  • Scene 1 – Pip is alone.
  • Scene 2 - you can see that Capri and Cedi went to ask her to dance (super proud of them for that by the way). 
  • Scene 3 – Pip is still alone.
  • Scene 4 – Miss Erin stops to check on Pip (remember this is the finale so there are almost 200 kids on the stage at this point).
  • Scene 5 – Miss Erin hugs Pip
  • Scene 6 through 12 – Pip is out of her mood and dancing her heart away to freeze dance with Miss Erin.

PS.  I took over 400 pictures during the recital … I’m really proud of myself for editing this post down to as few as I did!

Challenge Chaos

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in the matter I’m about to discuss with you all but please, feel free to let me know if I am.  I may take on too many projects all at the same time.  Does this ever happen to you?  Don’t get me wrong – I love it … but sometimes I need to sit back and take a look at what needs to happen and what deadlines I’m looking at.

With that being said - this post is mostly for me.  I think  I need a post to help keep track of where I’m at, where I’m heading and when I need to be finished.

Project:  Semi Secret, using Jen Kingwell’s new fabric line ‘Gardenvale

semi secret project

Due Date: sometime at the end of May
Project Status: 16 of the 24 blocks completed.

Project:  Focus Through the Prism Project QUILTING Challenge

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Due Date: May 31st, June 30th, July 31st, August 31st, September 30th, October 31st, November 30th
Project Status: May challenge, Monkey Wrench, is complete, just need to photograph and blog

Project:  Riley Blake Modern Quilt Guild

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Due Date: sometime in July
Project Status: 3 and 3/4’s blocks complete.  Not 100% sure on where to go next.

Project:  Fall Leaves

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Due Date: Due June 30th
Project Status: Inspiration is there … still needs a lot of work

Project:  Hoffman Fabric Challenge

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Due Date: Friday, July 17th
Project Status: I have the fabric I need.

Project:  Charms and Cherrywood Challenge

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Due Date: November 1st
Project Status: I have the fabrics and the templates required for the challenge.  Now I need to figure out the rest.

Project:  Be Creative! Quilt Challenge

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Due Date: November 1st, 2015
Project Status: I have my fabrics

Project:  The Bale Identity for Mill House Quilts

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Due Date: August 15th
Project Status: I have my bale purchased and I’m signed up for the challenge.  That is all.

So … as you can see … I have a bit of work to do in the next few months.  But – I love a challenge and I love what inspiration comes out of me from these challenges!  I’ll keep you posted on how things go!

Exhibitor Floor of Quilt Market

I was up early for my last day of Quilt Market – the first day that the exhibitor floor opened.  The Exhibitor Floor is where designers and companies have booths set up so you can see all the new things coming out in the industry from patterns, to fabrics, to fun new tools!  This was also my opportunity to do some major networking with specific companies and people I had in mind.

quilt market morning of exhibit

The morning was dreary but nice – and not raining like it had been the day before.  Always a bonus to arrive at market not wet.  I’ll have to warn you.  I took quite a few #usies with people I admire and work with online quite a bit.

quilt market victoria

I first met Victoria Findlay Wolfe a few years ago – fairly recently after her quilt had won best in show at the very first Quilt Con.  I found Victoria at Quilt Con in the Sizzix booth.  She was working on some fun double wedding ring quilts that she shares in her newest book Double Wedding Ring Quilts - Traditions Made Modern: Full-Circle Sketches from Life

quilt market tula pink and me

I have to admit.  I went a bit ‘fangirl’ on Tula Pink.  I just couldn’t help myself!  I had seen Tula Pink the day before at Schoolhouse but I held my excitement in … a little.  I knew I would kick myself later if I didn’t ask to get my picture with her.  So I did.  I probably completely ruined my chance of ever being friends with Tula but that’s okay.  I’m a crazy, hyper person normally so just imagine when I’m in the same place as someone I idolize!

quilt market moda patterns

I love a good sampler! It was fun collecting these block patterns from the Moda designers. I am missing 7, 22, and perhaps 24 and higher? If anyone grabbed those if you could share with me what blocks they are it would be great!  Otherwise I’ll just make my own up to fill in the gaps!

quilt market tiger

This stunning Lion Quilt designed and made by Violet Craft was definitely hitting everyone’s instagram stream as the walked by the Michael Miller Fabrics booth. 

quilt market penguin and fish

Penguin and Fish’s booth caught my eye too!  And it turns out she’s a friend in an online community of mine!  Even better!  I just couldn’t resist a few of these adorable embroidery hoop projects.  I’m always looking for some fun handwork while I’m watching the girls in gymnastics, dance, basketball or softball. 

quilt market marcia derse

Marcia Derse’s booth also caught my eye.  I love a gorgeous hand dye topped off with a fabulous organic design/print and perhaps even another layer of dye over that.  Marcia was also super fun to chat with and I can’t wait to see what else comes from her!

quilt market heather ross

I had to also snag an #usie with Heather Ross in her booth!  I enjoyed her talk so much at schoolhouse that I just had to stop and tell her that!

quilt market gogokim

I’ve been chatting with GoGoKim on twitter now for years!  I tracked her down in the Aurifil booth and finally met her in person!  And turns out – she just as great as she is online!quilt market carrie bloomston

Everytime I walked by Carrie Bloomston’s booth at market she was either occupied or not there!  Oh well – it is amazing regardless!  It also made me look her up and turns out she has a great book out there too - The Little Spark - 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity.  It’s now officially on my wish list!

quilt market crazymomquilts

Every Friday I anxiously wait for Amanda of Crazy Mom Quilts ‘Finish It Up Friday’ post to go up.  It’s a fantastic link up that I guarantee will bring traffic to you blog.  She’s also co-author of one of my favorite go to quilting books - Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics.  Amanda had come and spoken to my guild the previous year so this was my second time meeting her in person. She is definitely a sweet heart and I just love watching her blog to see what her latest scrappy project is!

quilt market creek side stitches

It’s always great to run into some local peeps when you’re at a big event.  These lovely ladies are from one of my local quilt shops – Creek Side Stitches.  Patti (in the middle) has written amazing books and patterns that are technique based.  Pick up one (or ten) of her patterns and you’ll be cutting up and using your precuts in ways you never imagined!

quilt market julia sandvoss

I recently joined the Therm O Web design team and I was excited to meet Julia Sandvoss, the lady I work with over at Therm O Web. She is an absolute sweetheart and so supportive of my work and designs.  I look forward to our continued partnership!

quilt market badass quilters

I spotted Maddie and Flaun of the Bad Ass Quilter’s Society and owners of the quilt shop, Spool, looking at (and perhaps ordering) some new skull fabrics! 

quilt market - pins

Throughout the show I was collecting buttons from various designers and companies!  I came home with quite a collection!  I’ll be sharing how I make my ‘pin holder’ with you all soon!

And with that … it was time to head home.  I would have loved to say but family comes first. 

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And these three lovely ladies had their ballet recital on Saturday – there is no way I was going to miss that! (More pictures of the recital coming soon!)