Friday, June 15, 2018

Waterfall Runner

A few months ago I pieced a quilt top using a bundle of Craftsy's Boundless Blenders Ombre in Waterfall. It had some gorgeous blues, greens, and yellows, and since the quilt had a lot of flippy corners in the construction, it also meant I was left with a lot of triangles after trimming. I promptly made them into half-square triangles.

I love half-square triangles, and I was delighted to find that I had enough left over for a table runner. However, the layout options for half-square triangles are endless, and it was so hard to pick one! Eventually I decided on a radiating diamond design in order to accommodate the quilting plan I had in my head: lots of long straight lines.

I quilted straight lines in the white channels and several curvy designs in the colored portions. I love straight lines, and they look even better when contrasted with curvy designs.

This was such a quick and easy project, and I love how I didn't have to break into any new fabrics for this, that it was made up entirely of waste fabric from a different project. It looks great on my table, and really conveys the spirit of summer!

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Linking up with: Crazy Mom Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, Powered by Quilting, and The Devoted Quilter.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Feathered Star Quilt Along ~ The Audition

When Rebecca Bryan announced her Feathered Star Quilt Along several weeks ago, I admit I was intrigued. I've never joined a quit along before, mostly because I like to do things on my own schedule, but I became very interested in this one. The Feathered Star is a rather intricate-looking quilt pattern and if not for this quilt along, I would never have had the courage to work on it.

For the fabric audition, I did have several bundles of Panache that I could have broken out so that my quilt will look just like the cover, but I decided to make mine a teensy bit more unique. I found a gorgeous bundle of rainbow brights called Geogram by Samarra Khaja from my stash, and I'm still pairing it with a black/white stripe from the Panache collection.

I'm excited and scared at the same time. Will I succeed and up my piecing game with this quilt, or fail miserably with badly matched seams and stretched-out blocks? I don't know, but I'll find out!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Taking a Shortcut

From the minute I picked up Zen Chic Inspired, I knew I wanted to make the quilt On the Ball. I even had the perfect fabric in mind for it: a happy, colorful print with lots of circles on it by Cynthia Rowley called Paint Box.

But when I actually read the instructions, I was a bit dismayed ... because it involved slice and insert. The last slice and insert quilt I did was Think Pink, and getting those intersections to match was really difficult, if not outright impossible. And that one is a lot easier than this pattern!

So I put it on the proverbial shelf and didn't think about it any longer. But then one day, I suddenly got an idea after using a bias tape maker. What if, instead of slash and insert, I used a bias tape maker and then just appliqued the strips? I'd get a similar look but it'd be so much easier.

And it worked! The strips look totally continuous (because they are) and I wouldn't have been able to make them look so continuous if I did slice and insert. It was surprisingly fast to do as there was no pressing and no lining the pieces up.

I'm very happy with it, and I think I got a very similar look to the original quilt, but it's much easier! I'm going to call this quilt Pick-Up Sticks, because that's what it reminds me of.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Skyways

A little over a year ago I completed Tokyo Subway Map, and while I loved it, I also thought I wouldn't want to do another quilt with so many little pieces. And then, I ran across Tangled by Rita Hodge, and I really wanted to make it. While it doesn't actually have as many pieces, it sure feels like it!

Auditioning fabrics for this quilt was really fun. I knew that I needed 25 colors, so I either had to pick 25 loose fat quarters from my stash, or use a coordinated bundle that has 25 or more colors. I ended up going with some Cotton + Steel basics.

This quilt was easy but took quite awhile to make because there are so many pieces. The arrangement of blocks was quite like a puzzle, and since I used different fabrics than the pattern, I had to make a key and refer to it constantly. I was fearful the whole time that I'd make a mistake and wouldn't discover it until it was going to be annoying to remove!

This quilt was really fun to quilt. I named this quilt Skyways because I'm imagining this futuristic world with floating cities where all the pathways are up in the air criss-crossing.

I did a simple piano key design for all the pathways and I like how they contrast really well with the negative space.

I like the front of this quilt a lot, but I think the back looks really cool too!

I had such a good time working on this quilt, and I'm very pleased with the outcome.

My little model was so excited to be in the picture!

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Linking up with: Crazy Mom Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, Powered by Quilting, and The Devoted Quilter.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Rainbow Panes

I'm not sure why, but I've been on a mini quilt kick lately! (Okay, I know why. I want to fill up my new quilting studio's walls.)

After making L'arc en Ciel a few months ago, I had 6 little squares of each color left over.

These were the improv crazy blocks that I made, and they were far too precious to throw away. So I decided to sew them together to make a mini quilt. But as soon as I sewed 2 blocks together, I pulled them back apart. I realized I wanted to put sashing in between.

I arranged the colors like the traditional rainbow, or the ROYGBV. As soon as it came together, I thought it looked like window panes.

I quilted it super simply, with some lines that echo the sashing strips. I didn't do any quilting in the crazy piecing parts which normally makes me nervous, but this will be hanging on the wall so I don't have to worry about how it will hold up.

I'm super happy with it! It came out at 21" x 21", and I was able to use every last bit of those little leftover squares. I completed this in about a day, and now I can see why people love to make mini quilts.

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Linking up with: Crazy Mom Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, Sew Can She, and Powered by Quilting.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Heart Builders Quilts

For the last few weeks, I've done nothing but churn out Heart Builders quilts one by one. Heart Builders is a charity program that was a part of Stash Builder Box, but then when Stash Builder Box got acquired by Cotton Cuts, Cotton Cuts was nice enough to continue the program.

I like the way that Heart Builders works because a team of piecers make quilt tops and then send it to the longarmer to be finished. That means I get to do my favorite part ... quilt! (The only downside is that I have to bind them too.)

First up is this green / brown quilt top made by Erica Nowak. As soon as I saw it, I knew what I wanted to do with it. The color scheme of this top is so evocative of forest and nature that I knew I wanted to do an allover leaves design. I was moderately comfortable with this design before I worked on this quilt, but after covering a quilt with it ... I'm now very comfortable!

Erica also sent me a green / lavender quilt. This one looked very flowery and sweet!

I also received quilt tops from Crystal Jordan. The first one I worked on is a blue / yellow quilt.

And last but not least, Crystal Jordan also sent me this adorable top with alphabet letters. I decided to do one of my all-time favorite designs ... swirls, of course!

Most of what I do is custom quilting, so I'm very used to working within a boundary and traveling via ditches. In a way, these allover quilts present a different kind of challenge. Here I have to work all around the quilt, make the designs seem random and not patterned, and most importantly, not get stuck in corners! That last bit is definitely still challenging, but I'm working on it!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

2018 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

Another year, another New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I participated last year, and it was a fantastic and eye-opening experience. I made a lot of new friends and learned a lot, so I rejoined this year. My hive is called the Happy Stitching Team, and our hive leader is Tish of Tish 'n Wonderland. Thank you Tish for being one of the hosts for this wonderful blog hop!


My Journey

I started sewing a little over 3 years ago because of all the Project Runway I watched, and I was curious about the art of sewing. (I didn't know the difference between sewing and quilting at the time, either.) My mother-in-law got me a starter machine for Christmas and I tried making pillows and cotton skirts, but I wasn't into it at all, so I stopped. About a year later, I was browsing classes on Craftsy when some new quilting classes caught my eye. Seeing all the bright and graphic modern prints gave me the impetus to try quilting, and soon after that, I was totally, 100%, obsessively and head over heels in love.

I have two young children, and it can be very taxing at times. I soon found that looking forward to quilting at the end of the day helped me get through even the most difficult of days. Sometimes the house is a mess, and sometimes my calendar is a mess, but I know that when I go to my sewing machine, I can make sense of things again. It is my happy place and my therapy, and I'm so grateful to have it.

My Style

I would describe my style as modern to modern traditional. But mostly, I would say that I don't have a particular style as far as pattern or layout, but that my particulars lay in the fabric. I love bright colors, metallics, black and white, and graphic / geometric prints.

But a picture is worth a thousand words. Here are some of my favorite quilts from the past year, and I think they convey my style better than my words can!

Top left: Urban Cabin
Top right: Critical Sunshine
Middle left: Inside Looking Out
Middle right: Lakeshore
Bottom left: Flux
Bottom right: Lagom

The biggest change in my quilting journey in the past year is that I got a longarm machine and even recently finished the longarm room into a beautiful studio. I realize I'm super, super blessed to have all this! Longarming has added a new dimension to my quilting because I no longer had to compromise my vision. I consider it one of my best decisions ever, next to taking up quilting to begin with.

It's been an amazing journey so far and I look forward to what the next year will bring!

Blogging Tip

I find the toughest part of being a quilt blogger to be photography, and it's something I'm always working on and I imagine it's true for other bloggers. I discovered by accident last year that some of my favorite photos of my quilts aren't with them lying flat (though that's important too) or even closeups of the quilting. The ones that have the most life are the ones that are staged in the living area, and they don't even have to show details of the quilt. Here are some examples of mine:

It's not always possible and sometimes I don't manage it, but I usually try to get a photograph of the quilt in a staging shot, as I call it. Sometimes it takes rearranging a few pillows or moving a chair, but it doesn't take any fancy equipment.

Quilting Tip

My one tip deals with overcoming quilter's paralysis. If you haven't heard of quilter's paralysis, it's that instance when you're finished with a quilt top, but then put off quilting it for days, months, ages ... because you're afraid of messing it up. But I've come up with a strategy that works ... most of the time. It's a 3-step program:

1) Load the quilt. (Or, if you're on your domestic machine, it's baste it and get it under the machine.) For me, in particular, once I load it, I know I have to work on it because nothing else can get quilted while it's on the frame!

2) Audition designs but set a time limit. I usually give myself about a day or so. I will rough sketch the quilt on paper and then start drawing designs on top. I'm usually surprised how quickly ideas come to me.

3) Start quilting! Once I start, the ideas really come and as I quilt, they get finalized (because I don't want to rip!). Sometimes I step back and say, "Wow that looks really good!" and other times I think, "Hmm, I wish I did something else." But at this point it's usually too late to rip, so I keep going and when it's finished, I'm already thinking about the next quilt and it doesn't bother me that that one patch of swirls would have looked better if it was mixed with pebbles or something.

I know it sounds obvious, but the best way to get a quilt finished is to get it started!

Question For You

Who is your all-time favorite fabric designer? I'll pick two since this is my blog ... Brigitte Heitland (aka Zen Chic) and Alison Glass! I think 80% of my stash is their fabrics.

Hop Onwards

Thanks for visiting! Here are the other stops on the blog hop:

April 16 April 23
Gail @ Quilting Gail
Rachel @ Rachel Rossi Design
Tracie @ Riceford Streams
Wendy @ Pieceful Thoughts
Jan @ Cocoa Quilts
Michelle @ Creative Blonde
Terry @ Quilting a Legacy
April @ Janda Bend Quilts
Velda @ Freckled Fox Quiltery
Carrie @ Carrie Bee Creates
Sharon @ Ms. P. Designs
Ann @ Laughing Gas Quilts
Nicole @ Hand Wrought Quilts
Becca @ Pretty Piney
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Stephanie @ Low Country Quilts and Embroidery
May 7 May 14
Sandy @ Gray Barn Designs
Linda @ Cozy Quilts
Dione @ Clever Chameleon
Cate @ Chaos Theory Quilting
Tara @ Quilt District
Roseanne @ Homesewn by Us
Karen @ Tuna Quilts
Rashida @ No 3 Quilt Studio
Tracy @ It's a T-Sweets day!
Joni @ For the Love of Thread
Cherie @ Cherie's Quilting Journey
Cindy @ Gray Barn Designs
Karen @ The Quilt Rambler
Sarah @ 9658 Textiles
Terri @ Meanderings Along Lizard Creek

Last but not least, don't forget to check out our host blogs for some fantastic giveaways!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts
Jan @ Dizzy Quilter
Tish @ Tish 'n Wonderland
Sanda @ mmm! Quilts

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