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linda@surroundedbyscraps.com
Portland, OR

503-997-8958

Handmade quilts and home accessories by fiber artist Linda Nussbaum. See samples of past projects as well as pieces available for sale and inspirations for custom orders. To see what is currently available for sale, please visit my Etsy Shop.

Blogger Archive

Filtering by Category: Alexander Henry

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Linda Beth

As many of you know, I am not always on top of the blogging and often come late to the party.

Last spring some time I checked in on my blog feed and noticed a whole bunch of the blogs that I follow had posts titled "Blogger's Quilt Festival" followed by some beautiful stories written about even more beautiful quilts they had done recently.

But this time, I'm just under the wire for Amy's link up at her blog, Amy's Creative Side.
Amy's Creative Side

I didn't have to think too hard about what quilt I want to share here. It's the Jewel of Friendship, a collaborative quilt done with the members of the Friends + Fabric {a modern stash bee} through Flickr.


This bee is kind of special to me, in that it represents a group of very talented women whom I've never actually met, but feel quite close to. The organizer of the group, Jenn {SunnyInCal}, is a member of the LAMQG and first brought together an online quilting bee via flickr at the beginning of 2011, of which I was fortunate enough to become a part. As that bee was wrapping up for the year, she extended an invitation to continue in a new year with a new group of quilters (and a fair amount of overlap). Our group for 2012 is an inspired, creative, adventuresome crew, which made me want to challenge them with an inspired, creative, adventuresome block!

Last fall or winter I spotted a group of bee blocks done by Jill Stemple {fallingforpieces} that I just fell in love with, pictured here. When I was revving up for my month with the F+F bee, I asked her if she had any problem with my using her blocks as a jumping off point, and was thrilled to hear back that she had no problem at all and had not used a specific pattern, just improvised it. PERFECT.

I played around for a bit, using a specific Alexander Henry print as my inspiration piece and came up with a few sample blocks.



As I was working on these I put together a little online tutorial, which can be found here, and made it available to the other bee members through my blog. And boy did they run with it!!


Once I got the last of the blocks and worked out a pleasing layout I ended up having to scurry to finish the quilt, having committed it to be entered at the annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July. I auditioned a number of different fabrics for the backing:





and ended up choosing a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton in Bluejeans, with a strip of stripe going through it. Have I mentioned how much I love using these shot cottons on the backs of quilts - they show off the quilting beautifully!


I quilted on my home machine, mimicking the wonky diamonds in the blocks, but trying not to match too closely as to seem off on any one of the blocks and bound the quilt in another great stripe fabric.


I truly would not and could not have completed this quilt without the help of the following talents (and certainly wouldn't have had such a wonderful variety of fabrics and styles and personalities to the blocks even if I had tried):
Jennifer (sunnyincal)
Maria (mpress studio)
Karen (capitolaquilter)
Lee (Mimi Lee2)
Eileen (bluebirdluxe)
Nicole R. (idreaminfabric)
Brianna (bribaby2007)
Petra (Petra Rosa)
Emily (CanyonGurl {Emily})
Nico B. (woodbines creep)
Nichole R. (n.ramirez)

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart, and this quilt deserves its title Jewel of Friendship.

Photo taken just this evening, with this quilt bringing me warmth and comfort while I await a replacement furnace!!

Quilt Measurements: approx. 55" x 65"
Special Techniques used: improv log cabin
Quilted by: me, myself and I on my Viking Lily.
Best category: Group or Bee Quilt, Scrap Quilt, Throw Quilt
Entry #500

A New Bloom

Linda Beth

About a year and a half ago I posted a photo of an "upcoming project."

Last Friday I was in the studio putting away some fabric yardage on the shelf and it occurred to me that of late I seem to be doing projects that either use scraps almost exclusively or are placemat sets that had been decided for me a while back. I don't feel like I've been taking advantage of my actual stash! And it's a sizable one, in dire need of being whittled down and put to good use!

I also realized that I've kind of veered away from some of the designs I've thought of doing over the last couple of years - things I played with in graph paper AND EQ7, like the project pictured above. Maybe it's time to revisit some of those older inspirations that got lost in the shuffle. Have any of you had that feeling - you've moved forward with things and have been making stuff that you're happy with, but looking back realized that there were projects you considered but hesitated on and then forgot to get back to??

So I pulled open my little wire basket with that same stack of fabric neatly folded together along with that same piece of graph paper, but as I looked at the pattern I was less inspired. Plus, I couldn't even remember which fabric I had envisioned in which position, which to me says it might be time to reconsider. I've been wanted to do another Blooming 9-Patch and these fabrics seemed to be a great starting point!

I started with those focus fabrics, Larkspur from Alexander Henry, plus the Kona Solid and Shot Cotton and an Australian print I had grouped with them originally. To those I added just 4 more fabrics to round out a nice progression for the alternating 9-patch and plain fabric blocks: another Alexander Henry blender from about a decade ago (one I've used in bits and pieces in MANY quilts over the years!), a batik I bought and used in a Trip Around the World variation I made for my father in 2005 or 2006, a coveted Joel Dewberry print from his Modern Meadow collection and a perfectly coordinating Anna Griffin print also from years ago. Did you notice that? Using fabric I've had for years and coveted fabric?? That's something to be proud of, yes?


I got all of these together at some point on Friday, with enough time to get everything except the setting triangles cut out, and began piecing the 9-patch blocks. When I left the studio, it was starting to look a little like this:

By Sunday I was rarin' to get going again on this puppy. My friend Maria came by the studio for a sewing day together, and while she was playing around with a stunning new quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's newest book Modern Patchwork, I continued on my 9-patch journey. By the end of the day I had all of my diagonal rows pieced together!

My next day in the studio is Thursday and I am holding myself to high standards to finish piecing this top by the end of the day. Will I be able to do it?? That's a fair number of corners to match up...

Stitching and Camping

Linda Beth

To begin with, I have FINALLY gotten a couple of new items up in my Etsy shop, also titled Surrounded by Scraps. It had been way too long since I had updated that little venue so I am glad to have a little momentum back.

But in order to get a few of the newer items up sooner rather than later, I did have to take some binding work away with me camping this last weekend. My reasoning was twofold: we were going camping primarily to celebrate 2 friends' birthdays and I had intended to sew up a little gifty for the birthday kids before the trip, but fell short on time. But here's a little hint on what I had in mind...
(both part of the Alexander Henry collection)

The second part of this equation is that I had spent the time I had in my sewing studio before the trip trying to make some new potholders and get the bindings machine sewn on to take with me, INSTEAD of working on the birthday presents, so I figured I'd better actually have that handwork with me to have SOMETHING to show for the oversight!

and with a little fire going

trying to smile for the camera - feeling a bit foolish, I have to admit!

Now, thankfully I wasn't the only one playing at hobbies. J was trying his hand at starting fire without matches or flint, simply with the power of the sun! He got the bark smoking, but no flames to be had this time around...

The first night it was just J and myself at a campground on the east side of Mt. Hood with a creek running right by. The following day we drove around, back toward Portland to meet up with the rest of our party at a campground on the Sandy River. Fun was had, horseshoes were thrown, pinecones were fetched and breakfast was quite a to-do!
(look at all of those camp stoves in action!!)

It was a great weekend, and I even have new potholders that survived (and will be in the next load of laundry to be sure there are no remaining campfire fumes attached - I promise!)




Another top to the pile

Linda Beth

About 2 weeks ago I went into Cool Cottons while Marie was there, searching for background fabric for the blocks I got last fall in the Nubees block swap through Flickr.

I was trying to set these blocks, primarily in blue, aqua, yellow and grey, bordered by a blue and grey Aneela Hoey coordinate from her Sherbet Pips line.

After auditioning several possibilities, we landed on one of the Alexander Henry Heath bolts. And it is PERFECT!



Now it's just a matter of figuring out how best to quilt this puppy, and actually getting it done! One more quilt top on the pile of unquilteds.

Post-holiday deadline post

Linda Beth

It feels as though I have hardly been in the sewing room at all in the last month, since returning home from my Thanksgiving travels, but I know that is not the case. However, my projects have been on short term, short turn-around time tables. Those projects are all now done.

The last week or so was dedicated to some presents, which are on their way to the recipients (if not already arrived). I'll post photos after Christmas ;-) But NOW I get to concentrate on new things! Yahoo! (of course there will always be UFOs hanging around, ready to be completed, but the new stuff is always more fun to think about!)

I've been eyeing this Alexander Henry fabric for months now... I finally succumbed today.

In 2012 I'll be participating in 2 new bees, continuing with one, plus I'm planning on taking part in Round 2 of the For the Love of Solids sewing swap on Flickr, hosted by my do.Good Stitches Bliss hive mates Megan and Elizabeth. With all of these great new adventures on the horizon, I've begun thinking about my inspirations for these various groups, and seem to have fallen in love with the color palette within that fabric. I've also started noticing other people's projects with those deep, wintery, somewhat earthy jewel tones (how's THAT for a contradiction in terms??). A couple of my favorites, found on Flickr are this quilt by Shelley Brooks and this one by rainyday*knitter.

I'm not sure yet how I hope to use this fabric, but while at work today (at the stellar Cool Cottons, of course!) I've been playing around with possible combinations...

Matched with Shot Cottons

Matched with Kona Solids

I decided to start out with a combination of the two, plus a couple of prints thrown in for good measure:

Oh, the possibilities!

new accessories!

Linda Beth

So, with all of this prep work to get the sewing studio ready for actually moving in to, I've been thinking a lot about what I will be moving in to the space. I've already made two trips to IKEA just to check out table, shelving and office chair options, so that when I actually have the rental truck I know exactly what I'm going in for.

But, there will also be a couple of pieces of furniture I'll be moving from my house... my current sewing cabinet and cutting table, of course, but in addition I have an arm chair and coffee table that have outgrown my little craftsman bungalow. And what does an armchair need?? Maybe a throw pillow or two??






I'd been eyeing that Alexander Henry fabric for quite a while, and found that the Kaffe Shot Cottons work beautifully as accents. They will be excellent splashes of color in the studio space, and would just as easily work in my living room area at home if the time comes. Love the versatility!