Saturday, July 14, 2018

#100Days100Blocks2018 Blocks 1 - 7

This is the first week of the #100Days100Blocks2018 challenge, and I completed blocks 1-7.

I have 2 of each block for now, because I plan to make 2 quilts. One will be using the Pacific bundle by Elizabeth Hartman, and one uses a black/white with a little bit of neon bundle.

#1:

#2:

#3:

#4:

#5:

#6:

#7:

And I got a little bonus project! I had some flippy corners cut off from a different project, so I used them as leaders & enders for these blocks and I ended up with a cute little mugrug!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 13, 2018

Wholecloth for Mom

Earlier this year my mom announced that she and my dad were moving back to Florida. For a housewarming gift, she asked for a quilt. I was off in my mind thinking about what kind of top to piece, and how to quilt it, but my mom had her own ideas.

First, she told me she didn't want patchwork, she wanted a wholecloth. But then, she didn't want it quilted very densely either. However, she added a final design request: feathers. Since she didn't want patchwork, I showed her my collection of wide backings, and she chose a blue and white print from Jennifer Sampou.

Anything too complicated was bound to be too dense, so I decided to make this really simple. I quilted a big wild feather around the borders, and then quilted a feather going in a circle in the center. I filled the rest of the space with swirls quilted at a much larger scale than I usually do.

It's hard to see the quilting except in the right light, and in fact I think it shows on the back better. But I think my mom would be happy to consider this a double-sided quilt!

I'm not entirely happy with the results due to my inexperience with wholecloth, but at least it's still a warm and functional quilt!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, July 7, 2018

#100Days100Blocks2018

Today is the first day of the 100 Days 100 Blocks quilt-along hosted by GnomeAngel, based on Tula Pink's City Sampler book.

Tula's City Sampler quilts have always been on my secret wish list. I didn't think that I'd ever want to devote that kind of time for a sampler quilt like this, but when this challenge came up, I knew that was probably the motivation I needed to get it going.

I was having a lot of trouble deciding which setting and which color palette to use. I was both drawn to this black / white with a little bit of neon fabric set, as well as something more colorful. So I decided I might as well make 2 quilts! Neither of the settings I'm planning has the full 100 blocks, and that's fine with me as I'll be able to end my block spree early and spend the rest of the time assembling the quilt top.

Here's to a great quilt along!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Minikins: Grab and Go Sleeve

For my second minikin, I chose the Grab and Go Sleeve. I figured I'd finally make a pretty case for my trusty laptop, it really deserves it!

While the I-Spy Pouch was pretty easy and quick, the Grab and Go Sleeve took me several hours to do because it was essentially a bag. The construction was interesting and at times confusing, but I followed Sara's video very closely and I was quite amazed when everything worked out at the end. Some of those instructions feel like they shouldn't work, but they do!

I really like this fabric too, as it's such a bright and happy print. I completely forgot I even had this fabric until I saw it buried in the back of my stash, and when I saw it, I knew it was the perfect fit. Turns out I had just the right amount, too!

I think I've grown addicted to making bags. Who knows, I might make a handbag soon!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

An All Stars Extravaganza

What do I do when I just finished piecing a beautiful English Paper Piecing quilt? Start another one, of course.

Every year there's one fabric collection that I can't get enough of. In 2016, it was Avant Garde by Katarina Roccella. Last year, it was Fragile by Zen Chic. And this year ... my vote would have to go to Tula Pink's All Stars. I don't even want to reveal how much of All Stars I own ... in fact, I don't even think I know. (I keep intending to do a fabric inventory, but then discard the plans in favor of actually quilting.)

I thought All Stars is the perfect fabric for Tula Pink's Bloomers quilt. For the first time ever, I explored the magic of fussy cutting. Sure, it uses a lot more fabric and takes more time, but if I was going to spend 6 months or more piecing a top, it better be special! I used all Tula Pink fabrics, combining All Stars, a Throwback bundle, as well as a few prints from True Colors.

Here are a few of my favorite flowers. The fussy cutting is so worth it, and I particularly like the way the stripes look! The hardest part of this quilt is probably deciding on the fabric combination as well as placement.

Fussy cutting for English Paper Piecing is pretty magical, and I think it has to do with the symmetry. It seems that no matter what part of the print I pick, as long as I pick the same repeat and make it symmetrical, it always ends up looking quite amazing. Tula's prints, of course, are well-known for the fantastic, awe-inspiring details.

I can tell this is going to be an epic quilt! I'm not sure when it'll get done, but it's so nice to have a project I can take on vacations and a project that I can't simply rush through. There's also no applique and dog ears to manage since this entire panel is the top, and that makes me very happy!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Minikins: I-Spy Pouch

When I saw the promotional video that Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness put out about the Minikins, I was pretty excited. Minikins are a 12-piece collection of accessory pouches, like pencil bags, makeup pouches, and even a lunch bag, and they're as adorable as their name implies. I'm always looking for video workshops to help me gain confidence in sewing, so I was happy to sign up!

My first minikin is the I-Spy pouch, which is a zippered vinyl pouch. For the fabric, I'm using some rainbow fabrics from a Kim Shaefer bundle. I also found a purple zipper in my zipper collection that I thought would complement nicely!

True to name, this minikin came together in 15 steps or less ... 9, in fact. All in all it was really fast and easy to put together. I made mine the large size so it's the perfect size to hold colored pencils!

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I am currently on vacation and I may take awhile to respond to your comment. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Supernova ~ Ready to Quilt!

Well, I've done it. I officially have a quilt top that I can say I spent more time on than the ill-fated Aviatrix Medallion. My Supernova quilt made with Alison Glass fabrics is now officially the most-time-consuming quilt I've ever worked on. But it was worth it!

Working on an English Paper Piecing project is such a different mentality for me because it is almost deliberately slow. I can't rush through it, so I just slow down and enjoy it. Plus, it really gives me an excuse to have movie marathons and not feel like I'm wasting time!

After I finished assembling the pieces, I did something I never thought I would do. I actually hand appliqued it to the background fabric! I figured that I already spent 6 months on this project, what's a few more days? I do like the look better than machine applique, and in particular I feel like I can control the dog ears a bit better when I hand applique. My hand applique stitches are absolutely terrible, but at least nobody can see it!

I'm already in love with it, and I haven't even quilted it yet! I have a feeling this one will take quite awhile to quilt, because I will have to do a lot of thread changing, but I look forward to quilting it ... some day!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Tangled: A Paper Quilt

Since I've been on a mini quilt kick lately, I thought I'd show my latest finished mini quilt. Except this one is not sewn, it's drawn!

I took a Zentangle class at International Quilt Festival in Rosemont a few months ago, and this was one of the class projects. Out of all the classes I've taken, this is the first one that produced a project I actually really like. In a way, Zentangle is just like free-motion quilting, and indeed some of the motifs are very similar. I used 25 different motifs in the "block" section which is meant to resemble cathedral windows, and I decorated the sides with some fancy feathers and some "free-motion" swirls.

One of the reasons I took the class is to help me with being more free with my doodling in general, which I hope will translate into more creative free-motion quilting. And since the last part of Zentangling is to sign your work, I tried my hand at calligraphy and signed my initials.

This will be hung in my quilting studio along with the other minis I finished. I highly recommend trying zentangling as not only a relaxing way to play on paper, but to practice doodling to improve free-motion quilting!

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!

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