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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»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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»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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»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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»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 ▶︎ ▶︎ ▶︎