Storts Market

by Lesley Storts


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»#sewcialbeesampler«

Hi Quilting Friends! I’m working on managing my time and priorities better so I have more freedom to choose when opportunities arise. The Sewcial Bee Sampler, hosted by Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell is a project I saw a post pop up on Instagram a few weeks ago and thought, “That would be fun, but I’m not sure I have time.” The first week passed, and I started seeing the blocks and I decided I would make time. I’m so glad I did. I look forward to it every week, like so many other quilters who have joined in.

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Once I decided to venture in, I had to make some fabric choices, otherwise I would be overwhelmed. I have been using Art Gallery Fabrics for a couple of years and narrowed it down to just that fabric company. Pulling all of my AGF into one place has been fun because I enjoy seeing it all together!

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Each block has a border and I happen to have many solids from my previous Prismatic Chill quilt. Making the decision for solid borders simplified choices in each block.

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I finished up block #5, July Fourth, last night. I like looking at my IG feed and the hashtag I set up for my personal quilt (#lesleyssewcialbeesampler) to make sure I’m keeping the color and fabrics balanced. The first 3 weeks I made blocks with orange. I find myself drawn to that color – A LOT! I say green is my favorite, but I think orange is the understudy, waiting in the wings to boot green out of the way. I’m sure I will have more orange because there are a lot of blocks, but for now, I’m conscientious about trying to bring a wider range of colors into play.

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If you are ready to learn and have some fun, then join this sew along HERE! Sharon has done a wonderful and BEAUTIFUL job writing up the blocks each week as well as providing tutorials on her blog. Thanks to both Sharon and Maureen for brining quilters together for this project 💕

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 

 


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RJR Fabric #WhatShadeAreYou

Game Night Quilt

Even though my quilting experience goes back many years, my use of solid colored cotton for projects was limited until a couple of years ago. I caught glimpses of people’s quilts with solids and realized that I wanted to play! Several projects have been started, some completed, and then I was asked by RJR Fabrics if I would like to participate in their What Shade Are You Blog Hop. The answer was a resounding yes! I had already sketched out a project that I wanted to make with solids and after reviewing the abundant array of colors on RJR’s color card, I knew this project would have the variety needed to pull it off.

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Cowboy  383
Chocolate  199
Marmalade  304
Custard  265
Martini Olive  343
Neon  348
Grove  407
Chalkboard  382
Silver  125
Golden Topaz  285
Chili Pepper  49
Tangerine Dream  276
Banana Cream Pie  336
Lucky Green  406
Turks & Caicos  292
Jacaranda  317
Goldenrod  92
Electric Blue  296
Scarlet Letter  325
Aloe Vera  349
Rhododendron  181
Lake  427
Orange Crush  372

In answering the question, What Shade Are You?, my answer is that I am shade competitive…but just a shade. My solid fabric quilts have ended up being stories about my life and experiences. This quilt is no different and reminds me of happy times in life. My mom taught me to play backgammon and Chinese checkers when I was a kid and my aunt and uncle taught me how to play Othello (yes, that’s Othello in the bottom right corner). We played these games often. Just a quick round or two but mostly 3 because we wanted to see who won the best 2 out of 3. Growing up, I played cards with girlfriends at camp, at sleepovers, or solitaire by myself. When I was dating my husband, I was introduced to Euchre. It’s against the rules to live in Ohio and not know how to play this game. At least that’s what I was told when we moved here and I was just compliant and learned – haha! Our family and friends play all kinds of games on a regular basis when we socialize.

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My quilt, Game Night, originated from these happy times. Backgammon was made from a foundation paper piece template that I created. Top right is the traditional block, card trick. Chinese checkers is based on the Star of Bethlehem block and I created a foundation paper piece template for the triangles. Othello is a classic checker board pattern.

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RJR’s Cotton Supreme Solids are fantastic for many reasons. As mentioned before, the color choices are exceptional and just as vibrant in person as they are in the pictures. The weight of fabric and how it lays makes it so easy to quilt. There is minimal fraying or stretching. Using RJR’s solids for this project was exactly what I needed.

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Last year, a quilt friend of mine showed a “potholder” quilt at guild. I was intrigued. Potholder quilts date from the US American Civil War and were created from individual blocks that are completely finished and bound then stitched together. I had wanted to try this technique and this project was ideal.

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Constructing the quilts was fun and sometimes challenging, but the quilting was the best part! I tried hard to elicit the feel of the different games through the quilting. Both backgammon and Othello have fairly minimalist game boards so there are a lot of straight lines.

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Chinese checkers is round! I was thinking and talking about how I could make the circular game board work and my daughter suggested quilting it in. Creating an image with the thread was especially satisfying.

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When I think of traditional playing cards, I think of the swirling designs on the card backs and tried to replicate that with free motion quilting.

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The fabric is so vibrant it almost looks electric! The only rule for picking the back was that it be bright and fun. I love the way that RJR’s solid fabric showcases the quilting.

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Quilt Details:
Finished Size – 54″ square
Fabric – RJR Supreme Cotton Solids
Thread – Variety of colors by Aurifil

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 


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»Blithe Blog Tour and Pike Quilt«

Welcome to the Blithe Blog Tour!

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Today the blog stops in Central Ohio where I’m sharing my quilt, Pike, that I designed using Katarina Rocella’s Blithe fabric.

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Have you ever sewn with Art Gallery Fabrics? They are so soft. The Blithe line has delicate and somewhat muted colors which remind me of winter, especially now that we are fully immersed in the season.

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There are many details about this fabric that I love. In several of the prints, metallic copper can be found. There are bold, modern graphic and text prints and soft feminine prints. So much diversity with a unique color palette makes this line interesting and versatile. Two favorite prints are Arcadia Bliss which I used as my quilt back and Glacier Silver Path which reminds me of aspen trees. I spent my school years growing up along the Wasatch Front in Utah and saw those trees often. I like aspens because of their leaves and the unique sound they make when rustling in the wind as well as the soft white bark that graces each tree. As the center piece for each block, this fabric lends a subtle and soft linear element to this traditional jackknife block.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI really enjoyed playing with these fabrics and having free reign to just create! Thank you Katarina and Art Gallery Fabrics for such beautiful fabric!

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Quilt Back

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Saltcellar Pincushions made with Blithe Fabric

Quilt Details:
Measures: 26 1/2″square
Blithe Fabrics by Katarina Rocella, Art Gallery Fabrics
Piecing and quilting completed with Aurifil 2000

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Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

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Version 2

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»La Passacaglia«

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlong with a new year, comes new resolutions and commitments. I had thought about starting this project and then my friend Kate told me she was buying the bundle for the La Passacaglia quilt and starting on January 1. I decided to join her because it is fun and motivational to work on a project with a friend. Mass Drop was offering the whole kit and you could add the book if you needed it.

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After receiving the kit, I browsed the book and all of the patterns. Amazing! As time got closer to start the La Passacaglia, I studied the pattern so I would be ready to go. Being a visual learner, I appreciated all of the pictures and diagrams provided. I plan on making at least 2 of the large rosettes first because I want them in specific colors and decided it would be easier to to make those then decide on fabrics for the smaller rosettes that are in-between.

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I pulled for both rosettes all at once and set the fabric aside. My daughter, Lucy, helped with the fabric pulls and I loved having another opinion. Having my daughter’s around to ask questions when I’m working on projects is so fun! I am grateful for their input and remind myself to enjoy this time in life with them so close by me. As I progress through, I may change my mind, but pulling all the fabric made it easier for me because my fabric is stored in bins in a couple of different places.

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I’m not sure how long this project will take. I’m still working on the Lucy Boston EPP so both projects will be worked on in tandem. I’m happy to start this and excited to learn as I go.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Prismatic Chill Quilt«

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As I sit here writing this post, the snow is coming down outside. That is to be expected since it is January, but 2 days ago we had 55 degree weather. The weather here is nuts! And that is where the inspiration for this quilt ended up…with the weather. Here in central Ohio, we are considered one of the cloudiest cities in the country averaging 283 cloudy days per year. Those clouds make for great filtered light and picture taking, but also a longing for sunny skies and color!

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When I first sketched this quilt, I was unsure about the palette. After coloring the sketch and playing around with it, I decided to use rainbow colors and try solids from Art Gallery Fabrics. I ordered a color card to help me choose fabrics.

Intense, saturated colors were what I first pulled, but I wanted those balanced out with some softer shades too. As I began making the quilt, I really loved the colors I chose, but realized that I needed one more dark in the green/blue family so I ordered a teal to add to the mix.

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The background is Essex linen by Robert Kaufman. I used Essex linen in my Great Granny Squared quilt and loved the look. I ordered a metallic but changed my mind and ended up at my local quilt store, Sew to Speak, to pick out fabric with all of my AGF solids on hand to make sure I liked how they looked together. I really wanted the background to be a soft, grayish blue that represented those cloudy skies in Ohio. The Essex linen in chambray is subtle and compliments the rainbow palette. I enjoy the mix of two different textures of fabric in this quilt.

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By using Quilters Dream Wool Batting, the greater loft provides more depth in the center and around the perimeter where the quilting is not as close. Prismatic Chill was backed with Carolyn Friedlander’s Crosshatch in Pacific. Quilt was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 2600.

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As a side note, while I was making this quilt, I affectionately called it the rainbow quilt or winter rainbow quilt. It’s the quilt’s pet name. Is there such a thing? I like to think of Prismatic Chill as the formal name, the one you would see on the birth certificate that no one really says. Haha!

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You can find this quilt and the pattern in the Winter 2017 issue of Modern Patchwork.

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Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 

 


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»Urban Twinkle Quilt«

Inspiration for this quilt can be blamed on the dog. We do not have a fence, so when the dog goes out, we go out. And guess who shoulders the majority of dog duty? Yep, yours truly. If my family reads this they will probably roll their eyes, but it’s true.

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So what do you do night after night, or morning after morning, while standing out in the yard? It was inevitable that I look up. And I looked up over and over again. And then, inspiration struck!

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Surprisingly, there was a lot of thinking in getting those 5 colors to ombre just right (I’m sure that’s not grammatically correct, but I think it explains it perfectly). My daughter Lucy got called into the living room when I was laying it out to help me evaluate again and again. It was like putting a puzzle together.

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I think Urban Twinkle would look great in many different color combinations and with a color card it would be very easy to pick out your graduating shades. I used Kona Cotton solids and quilted with Aurifil.

If you would like a copy of the pattern, it is available through Modern Patchwork Gifts 2016.

I dedicate this one to the dogs. On the left is Benson, our wire fox terrier. We got him earlier this year.  Our sweet little Yorkie, Oliver, died a year ago.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎


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»Lucy Boston in Progress«

My play with fabrics, color and various prints continues as I move forward making my Lucy Boston blocks. I take my work with me almost everywhere I go and it feels like I make progress in my spare moments.

I like looking at all of the blocks together because it gives me a sense of what the quilt will look like once it is put together. I’ve completed 23 blocks and plan on making 42 for a quilt that is 6 across, 7 down.

Sometimes fabrics do not come together in reality like they do in my mind…

No and no. I really wanted to fussy cut the butterflies but unfortunately it felt like I had dissected and mutilated them instead.

On this block, if you look at the placement of the grid fabric on the left, it is next to the chartreuse green. After I got them all put together, I realized they did not look good because there was not enough contrast. So I unpicked them and put the purple in their place. Also something to note is how much lighting affects color – the grid fabric on the right appears more cement gray color which is more accurate. The one on the left appears blue.

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I went to my LQS earlier this week because I needed thread to quilt. It is hard for me to resist looking around. I gave in and found this fun U.S. states fabric. I plan on fussy cutting all of the states I’ve lived in for one of my blocks.

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I even enjoy looking at these little pieces all stacked up and ready to sew.

Happy Quilting and English Paper Piecing ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 

 

 


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»Published! in Modern Patchwork Gifts«

 

I am excited to share that I have 2 projects in the current issue of Modern Patchwork Gifts. This publication is the inaugural issue for a Holiday Gifts publication from Modern Patchwork. I have a quilt, Urban Twinkle, and Lucy and I wrote instructions for making Saltcellar Pincushions!

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The secret is out with instructions and tips for making your own – if you get your own copy of Modern Patchwork Gifts!

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You can buy copies at various locations. In central Ohio it is available at Sew to Speak, Barnes and Noble, or JoAnn Fabric. I you are interested in a digital copy, click HERE for information.

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This has been such a rewarding process! I started with these beautiful Kona solids in blues and one yellow back in March. I have learned a lot and plan to keep learning, designing, and making.

The current issue is loaded with beautiful quilts and fun projects. Also included in this edition are recipes from the contributors. I have 2 of my family favorites – chocolate pie and cranberry cream.

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

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»I Wonder Quilt«

 

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What do you think about the above picture? This quilt is difficult to take pictures of because it is long. I used this fun app on my phone called Fisheye. My other pics taken outside were better since I could move far away and not take pictures of random things like dirty dishes or a kid passing through.

I am happy to be finished with this quilt because it is always good to have a completed project and I entered it into the Ohio State Fair and they only take completed projects 😉

The idea for this project percolated for some time in my mind. I thought it would be fun to just randomly place squares to see what I came up with. Then this project took on a different purpose when I had an experience last year. I was the nurse assigned to care for a patient for the day and he was not doing well. His health had deteriorated significantly over the previous year, and he was readmitted again. In talking to him, it was apparent he had a lot of apprehension about the quality of his life and health. After caring for him all day, I left and had a lot on my mind. That happens a lot to me as a nurse and I need time to decompress. In doing that, I ended penning a poem. As time went on, I decided that I wanted that poem to have a visual. The quilt is that visual representation. The quilt starts and ends with white which is light. It also has a variety of colors which represent life and many different times and experiences that people have. The quilting is done in a pointed figure 8 which represents the infinite aspect of life. I hand stitched the poem onto the back of the quilt because the poem is the quilt.

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I used Kona Cotton by Robert Kaufman and Aurifil 50WT thread 2600 which is a silvery color. The hand stitching is with the Aurifil, but I doubled the thread to create enough thickness. It did very well in hand stitching. I really enjoyed this project and happy that I tried something I had never done.

I Wonder

I wonder if
I would recognize
Through the pain
Through the change
Could I see
And understand
A limit
An expiration
Part of nature
Therefore natural
A progression
Would I be sad
Remorseful
Relieved…

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Go create something fun and try something new!

Happy Quilting ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎

 

 


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»Starting My Modern Lucy Boston Quilt«

Last month I started a new project with my friend Kate Basti (IG @katebasti). She had already started and it looked like so much fun that I thought I might finally try English Paper Piecing (EPP). What can I say? I LOVE IT! I have always liked having a small sewing project to take on the go and for a long time cross stitch filled that need. But I have a new passion now and there’s no turning back. I got my starter kit from Alewives Fabric which included the Lucy Boston quilt book, acrylic honeycomb template, honeycomb pieces for basting, needles and glue. I prefer to baste mine with thread but I know I will use the glue for other projects.

Kate helped me so much by giving me a hands on tutorial. My mom had tried a few years ago, but I must have not been ready because I felt like I had 10 thumbs trying to baste the pieces. Plus I was trying to baste mini dresden plates. Not only were they small, but they had a curve. Not what I would suggest for a first time EPP project.

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Matching up the fabric for blocks

There are several parts of this project which help me enjoy it so much. First, there’s the picking fabrics. Kate is really good at this and also had to give me a little tutorial in fabric pairing. Even though I’ve matched fabrics for years for quilts, this was different for me. I now get really excited when I see a fabric I want to use and I go hunting for other fabrics that will work well.

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Big box with many prepped pieces

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Little box with one or two current blocks

Next, I like it because it is a project I can take on the go. And I’m always on the go. Work, and numerous activities for my kids like soccer, band, choir, church, etc. Even when I’m visiting with friends, I like to work on my EPP. So with all of the running around, it’s like I’m sneaking in a free quilt. I have large box that can hold many blocks worth of pieces cut up and ready to baste. The small box, which Kate gave me, can fit in my large purse or small backpack.  It is ideal for toting all around with me.

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Acrylic tool for auditioning fabric

Another reason I’m such a fan of this process is that I can fussy cut my pieces. I search for pieces to fussy cut. It is so much fun to play with the fabric and come up with “new” designs by realigning the fabric.

Here are fabrics in the pairing up process. I ended up choosing the set on the right, but after posting these pictures, I’m going to have to go back and revisit the others . I have many many blocks to make so it won’t be a problem 😉

I’m also naming the blocks as I go, which is fun. I have a lot of time to think since each block takes a few hours. I just returned from vacation on the North Carolina coast and I spent some time on Shackleford Banks, an island along the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The block I happened to be working on had horses designed by Sarah Watts and made by Cotton + Steel. The day we were there, we saw an 8 day old foal with it’s mother feeding along the shore in the marsh area. I will always remember this block in association with my trip this summer. So naming the blocks can be fun plus a bit of a timeline of sorts.

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The pink/magenta flowers are from Jennifer Paganelli’s Color Brigade, Free Spirit Fabrics. The gray is Zen Chic Modern Background Paper Silver by Brigitte Heitland, Moda Fabrics. Honeymoon by Sarah Watts of Cotton + Steel. Plaited in Flax by Anna Maria Horner of Free Spirit Fabrics

If you follow me on Instagram, you can see blocks as I complete them. I’m also naming the fabrics and fabric makers just in case anyone wants to know.

If you haven’t tried EPP, you should!

Happy Quilting and English Paper Piecing ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎