Friday, April 20, 2018

The Macabre Mini

A few weeks ago, I was making a pinwheel star quilt and when I completed this block, I realized the birds that were all cut up and juxtaposed next to each other just looked kind of ... wrong. So I tossed it to the side and forgot about it.

Then one day, I came to my sewing room and saw it, and decided I might as well make my first mini quilt. Since I haven't done walking foot quilting for almost 2 years, I figured this was a good opportunity to play with it since the quilt is very small. I quilted lots of echo lines and I really like it!

My favorite part of this quilt is the binding. I found a leftover piece of binding from another quilt I made and it was the perfect length for this mini. Putting the binding on made me rather dizzy because of the tiny black/white strips, but once it's done, I love how it pops!

Maybe it's finally time to begin that mini quilt wall.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Stash Statement Blog Hop Kickoff!

Today is the kickoff day for the Stash Statement Blog Hop tour. Stash Statement is a new book from Kelly Young of My Quilt Infatuation, and I'm thrilled to be part of this blog hop!

I love the look of improv, but I'm afraid of doing it. As a former software engineer and current owner of a very mathematical brain, it is a challenge for me to improvise even under guidance. That is why I so welcome Kelly's approach which combines improv piecing and traditional piecing for one-of-a-kind quilts that caters to my need of order and structure but gives me a chance to experiment with improv. It's the best of both worlds!

My stop of the blog hop is on 5/7. Until then, here's a sneak peek of what I've been up to:

Below is the full schedule. It starts today with Grand Bazaar which is the stunning rainbow quilt on the cover of the book. I can't wait to see the versions these talented bloggers have made, and of course, I hope to see you back here on 5/7!

Stash Statement Blog Tour Schedule

Kickoff post:

  • Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation

    4/16: Grand Bazaar

  • Shelley @ Cora's Quilts
  • Connie @ Freemotion by the River

    4/26: Louvered

  • Lindsey @ Primrose Cottage Quilts
  • Diann @ Little Penguin Quilts

    4/30: Precarious

  • Jess @ Quilty Habit
  • Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts

    5/7: Beach Retreat

  • Sarah @ Sarah Goer Quilts
  • Liz @ Savor Every Stitch (you're here!)

    5/14: Fire Pit

  • Alison @ Little Bunny Quilts
  • Preeti @ Sew Preeti Quilts

    5/21: Detour

  • Laura @ Slice of Pi Quilts
  • Shelley @ The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts

    5/28: Murrina

  • Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl
  • Leanne @ Devoted Quilter

    6/4: Scattered

  • Jayne @ Twiggy and Opal
  • Christine @ Triangles and Squares

    6/11: Bloom Chicka Boom

  • Chris @ made by ChrissieD
  • Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty

    6/18: Regatta

  • Susan @ Quilt Fabrication
  • Debbie @ A Quilter's Table
  • Christa @ Christa Quilts

    6/25: Catch a Falling Star

  • Cynthia @ Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
  • Anja @ Anja Quilts

    7/2: College Prep

  • Hilary @ by Hilary Jordan
  • Lori @ Crossquilt

    7/9: Take Flight (bonus digital pattern)

  • Kelli @ Seriously, I Think It Needs Stitches
  • Paula @ The Sassy Quilter
  • Saturday, April 14, 2018

    International Quilt Festival Chicago 2018

    April is an exciting time of the year for me. Not only is the weather finally starting to think about warming up, but the quilt show season has officially begun!

    I look forward to the Quilt Festival in Rosemont every year. This is my 3rd year going, and each year it's been different. In 2016, I was a newbie quilter and everything was shiny and new to me. I rushed around trying not to miss anything, but overall felt very overwhelmed. Last year, I concentrated solely on testing out longarms so I didn't do much else. This year, I'm no longer a newbie and no longer shopping for a longarm, so I felt like I could slow down a bit more and enjoy the show.

    The best part of any quilt show is always the shopping. In fact, I judge a quilt show by the quality of the vendors. I always describe myself as drunk on fabric fumes at a quilt show, and I will usually pick up a few things that I wouldn't normally. I rarely have buyer's remorse, though!

    On day two of the show, I spent some time in classes. My morning class is with Jamie Wallen from Quilter's Apothecary called Mystical Blocks and Borders. Jamie is an accomplished quilter, and his work is stunning. He also had a low-key humor and so much quilting knowledge that the room was filled with sounds of people writing as he gave tip after tip after tip. Even though this is a longarm hands-on class, we spent most of the time drawing, which I think is a good thing. I could learn so much more drawing than trying to quilt something on a machine that I'm not even familiar with. In fact, Jamie said, "Don't think of it as drawing. Think of it as quilting on paper."

    While this sort of quilting is very elegant, it also requires more marking than I would want to bother with. However, I know that I will be able to take the principles I learned here and apply it to my own work.

    But ... I didn't quite get to finish the class. About 3 hours in, someone came in and said that there was a fire, and we all had to vacate the classes. There were a bunch of police cars and fire trucks parked outside and they locked the area down so nobody could go back in. What it did mean was that I had extra time at the vendor mall and my wallet suffered greatly for it.

    Happily, they took care of the fire situation eventually and my afternoon class called Black, White, and Zentangled didn't get cancelled. When I arrived, the instructor told me it was going to be a private lesson, because apparently I was the only one who signed up! I was surprised they didn't just cancel the class. But I had a great time in the class, and the class projects I worked on are probably the first class projects ever that I'm super proud of and actually want to keep!

    It comes as no surprise to me that I would enjoy Zentangling. After all, it's free-form doodling, and isn't that exactly what I do with free-motion quilting? I'm excited to finish the class project and hang it in my sewing room!

    It's been another great year at International Quilt Festival, and I hope to be back next year!

    Friday, April 6, 2018

    Supernova ~ EPP Madness!

    I've been eyeing Tula Pink's Nova quilt for ages, it feels like. Well, maybe close to a year. But either way, I almost bought it on multiple occasions only to put it back. The quilt is absolutely stunning, but my reason for not wanting to do it? It's a giant English Paper Piecing project and there's way too much fussy cutting.

    But it's just so beautiful and it continued to haunt me. One day, when I saw that a kit was available with Alison Glass fabrics, I decided to splurge for it. Not only is that version just a bit more rare than the more widely available Spirit Animal edition, but there's a lot less fussy cutting with Alison Glass's fabrics since it's mostly blenders.

    I have a love and hate relationship with English paper piecing. On one hand, I enjoy its portability, and it produces such beautiful and intricate looking pieces, but on the other hand, I have a pronounced allergy to hand sewing of any kind. But I've been looking for an EPP project to work on this year, so this is it!

    These are shaping up to be real mini beauties. The big challenge, of course, is to put it all together. I've never worked on EPP of this scale before, not even close. But I'm excited to keep working on this, because it is a real stunner!

    Friday, March 30, 2018

    Cascade

    Cascade by Initial K Studio was one of the first quilts to catch my attention. I first saw it several years ago and it was one of the first modern quilts I saw that attracted me to quilting. Then I forgot about it as quilt after quilt inundated my mind. But several months ago I remembered it and decided it was time!

    I was initially tempted to buy Cascade as a kit because it was hard to see it in any other colors. But then I found this magnificent jelly roll in my stash: Grunge by Moda. When I unwrapped it, I almost thought I had to bag the project. I was hoping to get a gradient across with one strip of each color, but instead I found that the jelly roll came with 20 colors of 2 strips each. But you know how a jelly roll is, once you unwrap it, you can't quite get it back. That motivated me to find a way to use it by arranging the colors in a gradient by intersplicing each color.

    This is probably the simplest quilting I've ever done, with just some straight lines and a few simple linear designs peeking out. I didn't think it really needed more than that.

    I took a shot of the quilt vertically, and I think it looks kind of interesting!

    This simple and modern quilt reminds me of why I got into quilting in the first place. And although I usually like to pile on the drama, sticking with the simple quilting was the right choice in this case. I'm glad I finally made this quilt that helped send me on this crazy, wonderful rabbit hole of quilting!

    ***

    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, March 23, 2018

    Skyline ~ A Sampler Quilt in Progress

    I grew up in Shanghai, (now) the most populous city in the world, so I've always been a city girl at heart. Even though I live in the suburbs right now, my heart always beats a little faster whenever I see pictures of a skyline. It's been on my mind to make a skyline quilt, but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do until I saw pictures of the Art Gallery Fabrics booth at QuiltCon 2017. AGF built a cardboard backdrop inspired by the Miami skyline, and when I saw it, I knew then that I wanted to do something like that in quilt form.

    I wanted to make my quilt in the style of a sampler quilt, with each building being built with different types of blocks. I'm not into anything too complicated, so all of the buildings are made of basic blocks.

    First I designed a rough version in EQ7:

    Using EQ7 helps me visualize proportions and also play with color a bit, so that I have a general idea of how my color scheme will work out.

    Well, I think my finished buildings look pretty close to the version I envisioned:

    I can tell already that this quilt will be a blast to quilt!

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018

    Modern Plus Sign Quilts Blog Hop: Postage Plus

    Today is day 4 of the Modern Plus Sign blog hop, and I'm super excited to show off the Postage Plus quilt from Cheryl Brickey and Paige Alexander's fabulous new book, Modern Plus Sign Quilts!

    Image credit: C & T Publishing

    How much do I love this book? A lot. I even bought my own physical copy, because I just love to sit on my favorite chair and flip through the beautiful book, enjoying the writing and styling, and dreaming of the quilts I'll make in the future. The Plus Sign is a very traditional block, but it has been interpreted in a completely new way in this book. There are so many different variations, as well as different techniques, that there is really something for everyone!

    When I was deciding which quilt to make for the hop, I was immediately attracted to Postage Plus for one simple reason: I had envisioned the perfect color palette. I knew I wanted something that was dark hot pink and hot pink offset against a white / gray scrappy center, so that's exactly what I ended up doing.

    I used cerise and berry for the background, which are such great colors. For the center plus sign, I pulled together some white and gray fabrics from my stash.

    One reason I was so excited to use the berry and cerise color is because I wanted to use hot pink thread to quilt this. I created a wavy design that flows behind the plus.

    I've been needing a hot pink quilt in my house, and now I have one! It was so much fun and so easy to make.

    Modern Plus Sign has many other fabulous quilts, and they'll all be featured throughout the blog hop. You can get an autographed copy from Cheryl, Paige, or you can get a non autographed copy from Amazon.

    Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to check out the other stops on today's blog hop:

    Linda @ Flourishing Palms
    Bernie @ Needle & Foot
    Michelle @ From Bolt to Beauty
    Patty @ Elm Street Quilts
    Stacey @ Stacey in Stitches
    Melanie @ A Bit of Scrap Stuff Blog

    Here is the full schedule. There are lots of beautiful quilts (and non-quilts) so be sure to follow along, see them all, and win some prizes! I am always amazed to see people come up with their own variations of the quilts, so this blog hop has been a blast to follow along!

    ***

    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.

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