Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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»Millefiori Study«

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Mille definition — “thousand”
Fiori definition — “flowered”

When I was first exposed to the Millefiori Quilt pattern by Willyne Hammerstein, I was amazed by the process and outcome. I had never heard the word millefiori and did not take time to stop and think about it’s meaning. I was too captivated by the quilts and all of the possibilities.

Millifiori Quilt Blocks

Blocks made by Lesley Storts

This past spring I visited the Chicago Art Institute and walked into the glass paperweight exhibit. I was amazed and awestruck. And then I saw that word again – Millefiore…that was the beginning of my quest to understand what it meant.

Glass Paperweight

Glass paperweight from exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The word millefiore, which translates to thousand flowered, originates with glass making in Italy from the 18th century. On their website, millefioribeads.org, the authors state that mosaic beads date back much further than that to the 7th or 8th century. A quick Pinterest search of the word millefiori will show quilts, jewelry and paperweights. So many mediums with which to experience this beautiful art – glass, clay, and fabric! As I was touring the paperweight exhibit, it dawned on me that Kaffe Fassett’s fabric, Paperweight, is inspired by this beautiful art.

Paperweight Fabric

Paperweight Fabric by Kaffe Fassett

As a bonus to learning all of this information, I recently found out that a friend of mine is associated with a local glass studio, Glass Axis. He invited me on a tour of the studio to see various methods of creating with glass. The day we went, there happened to be an artist working on blowing glass. It was an intriguing process to watch. The entire studio was full of inspiration! I went home to research the process a little more. The following 5 minute YouTube video of glass making shows this intricate and mesmerizing process.

I now have a better understanding of the inspiration behind the the millefiori quilts. As a quilter, I believe that inspiration can be found everywhere and learning about the millefiori glass paperweights once again confirms this belief. The plan for my millefiori quilt is to make each rosette focused on one color so that when they are all joined together, they feel distinct. I see paperweights with multi colors but I also see them restrained to smaller color palettes. The variance of options creates endless ideas for quilts.

I enjoy looking for paperweights when I antique. I found this beauty for $3 which is a bargain!

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Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 

 


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»Diversity and a box of Crayons«

Earlier this week at church, one of my daughters received a box of crayons as a gift. As soon as she saw me, she laughed and asked me to open the box.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs a kid and even as an adult, I’ve always liked looking at a new box of crayons. So many possibilities with those fresh, sharp points. When I pulled the lid back, I was surprised! The sharp points were there, but the color was monotonous. I like the color Unmellow Yellow, but I like a lot of other colors too.
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The opportunity for creating with a new box of crayons seems endless, except when all of the crayons are the same. That box of crayons left me thinking about diversity and the privilege and inevitability of being exposed to it.

As a nurse working in an emergency room, I see diversity in so many aspects of life – health of patients, family interactions, coping mechanisms with life altering news, and clinical practice styles among health care workers. As a mom, I see differences in my children who all are growing up with the same 2 parents in the same household. I really appreciate diversity. Life would be boring if everything was the same.

As my quilting has evolved over the years, I’ve come to enjoy the diversity in this craft and appreciate varying styles – not only in quilting, but in individual interpretation – mine and others. Sew alongs, swaps and sewing challenges have provided a designated focus for creating.

Sew alongs have provided a great way to see a pattern with a large amount of personal interpretation. I participated in the Sewcial Bee Sampler  (IG #sewcialbeesampler) and Community Sampler (IG #communitysampler) both hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell. Everyone was working with the same pattern but chose their own fabric and approach. This project gave each quilter a unique opportunity to see the pattern reinterpreted again and again. It was interesting to see and a learning opportunity as well.

 

Last fall, Isabel Kelly (IG @lambandwolfie) hosted an Anna Maria Horner (AMH) sew along (IG #amhsewalong). This was a fun project because it was open to interpretation including pattern or project and focused on using your AMH stash. I decided to join with one project in mind, but changed my mind and created a single Irish chain using rainbow colors.

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Maker: Lesley Storts

Maker: Isabel Kelly (IG @lambandwolfie)

Maker: Isabel Kelly

Swaps are also another fun way to see how an individual views fabric or a general theme. I participated in the Polaroid Greeting swap (IG #polaroidgreetswap) hosted by Johanna (IG @johannaweidner) and found it interesting to see what “pictures” people captured. I still have not put together all of the blocks I received, but I was inspired to create a polaroid quilt for my dad for his 70th birthday.

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Maker: Lesley Storts

The Rainbow Mini Swap on Instagram hosted by Kate Basti (IG @katebasti or quiltwithkate.com) limited you to size but encouraged the incorporation of a lot of color. We had a deadline and I knew who I was sending to, but it was a secret who was sending to me. I sent mine to Becky (IG @keepmeinstitches) and received mine from Isabel Kelly – same gal who hosted the #amhsewalong mentioned above. I loved giving and receiving and made some wonderful online friends through the process. The quilt I made for Becky was a pattern I designed myself. It was challenging to create a layout that I felt was visibly appealing but in addition, I was sending it to a stranger! It pushed me to create the best quilt I could.

Lesley with Rainbow Mini made by Isabel Kelly

Lesley holding Rainbow Mini Quilt made by Isabel Kelly

Rainbow Hexi - made by Lesley for Becky

Maker: Lesley Storts

The Central Ohio Modern Quilt guild hosted a color challenge which was exciting and fun! Each person blindly pulled two crayons from a bag. The rules stated that were neutrals could also be added. This resulted in me trying out the Wefty needle made by Tara Curtis (IG @weftyneedle or weftyneedle.com) and making a pillow with piping! The palette was limited, but creativity was not.

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Maker: Lesley Storts

 

Diversity in all aspects of life is important. I appreciate the challenges that have come with various projects because I have grown as a quilter and crafter. How has your quilting or other passions grown over the years?
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Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Suzy Ultman Salt Cellar Pincushions«

The hunt for fabric to make salt cellar pincushions is always fun! When I spotted Suzy’s fabric at my LQS, Sew to Speak, I knew it would probably be a favorite.
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Suzy Ultman’s has such a fun style with her art and creations! The prints from Suzy’s Minis 2 are perfect for salt cellar pincushions because of their petite scale.

Another enjoyable part of the process was picking out accessories including buttons and creating the custom crystal bead pins. These little popsicles needed a very small button! I call it a micro button. I’ve had these in my stash for a long time and never really thought I’d use them.
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The term “cuteness overload”  is not an exaggeration with these prints!

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If you are interested in a pincushion, visit my Etsy shop! And keep up to date with pincushion progress on my IG @lesleystorts.

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Ice Cream Soda Quilt Progress«

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Progress continues on the Ice Cream Soda paper pieced quilt. I’ve been working on this for about a year and half. That’s a long time! I love making the blocks and matching them with pincushions that I have on hand.

Piecing the blocks together is a lot slower than I thought it would be. But I’m happy to be at the stage to be able to connect blocks.
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This project was started by Jodi from Tales of Cloth. Her website is full of wonderful inspiration and English paper piecing projects.

In other happenings, Ohio is up to it’s shenanigans again with the weather. The sun was out and shining and it was raining at the same time. Raindrop shadows?!
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Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Pike Quilt – Flower Child Fabric«

Maureen Cracknell, a fabric designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, has a new fabric line available. You can view the Lookbook for pretty pictures and inspiration including this version of the Pike quilt. I fell in love with this fabric!

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Maureen’s fabric was perfect for pincushions too.
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Quilting this was fun! I enjoyed changing the quilting motif in the different fabrics. I knew I wanted to have a wavy crosshatch in each of the block centers plus a lot of soft swirling lines in this quilt.  The design evolved as I quilted.

If you are interested in making the Pike Quilt, the pattern is FREE! You can find it on Craftsy by clicking HERE. There are a couple of colorways for this quilt and you can choose which you download. Additionally, I’ve created a coloring page for this quilt so you can play.

Pike Quilt Coloring Page
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Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Posey Slide Quilt«

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The Posey Slide quilt is finally complete. Inspiration for this project came from a quilt my mom made many years ago. I raided my mom’s stash for the circles and then fussy cut a lot of them.

Gaining experience with needle turn appliqué was part of the goal in making this quilt. I definitely got a lot of practice and have more confidence with this skill.
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I vacillated a lot about the quilting – so many options. I ended up quilting a gentle wavy line that feels a little whimsical and was easy to do with the quilting foot on my Pfaff. After years in the making, I am happy to finally finish this quilt. Best of all, I love the way it turned out!
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Back is Tula Pink Free Fall fabric.

Details for making this quilt:
Squares – 7″
Circles – 5″ diameter
Finished quilt has 72 blocks.

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎
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»#sewcialbeesampler«

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I’m so happy that I’m all finished with my #sewcialbeesampler quilt! I started this quilt last year with the weekly sew along written by Sharon Holland and co-hosted with Maureen Cracknell. I finished it shortly after the beginning of this year and finally had a chance to get some pictures.

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I enjoyed the challenge and look of different blocks each week. Sharon’s beautiful instructions are visually pleasing and easy to follow.

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I planned from the beginning to use different fabrics in every block. My only constraint was to use my Art Gallery Fabrics stash. I have built a stash since discovering this fabric line a few years ago. The back and binding are also Art Gallery Fabrics.

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This is a large quilt! I decided on an all over geometric pattern for quilting. I used Aurifil thread. Quilting was so easy to do on my domestic Pfaff using my quilting foot.

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I’m so pleased with my quilt and the way it turned out. I learned so much while making it, had a wonderful time perusing the other maker’s blocks on Instagram (#sewcialbeesampler), and simply being in touch with other quilters via social media. I’m especially grateful to my friend Shayne, who introduced me to Art Gallery Fabrics, and my local quilt store Sew to Speak because they carry Art Gallery Fabrics and I can see them in person.

To see progress from last year go here or here.

 

Happy Quilting! ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎