Friday, June 30, 2017

Aviatrix Medallion ~ Part Four: The (Not) Finale

Aviatrix Medallion is hands down the hardest quilt top I've ever pieced, and now it's also the hardest quilt I've ever quilted.

I really enjoyed quilting all the different designs, some of which are my own ideas and some that I got from inspiration photos on the internet. A combination of ruler work and free-motion means that I never take the ruler base off. The ruler base does adds a little bit of drag, but I find I'm used to it now and can still move the machine smoothly.

And ... that's all I have for now. For personal reasons, I have to take it off the frame and I'm not sure when I'll get around to finishing it. It is my first official quilting UFO (UnFinished Object). But when I come back to it, I won't have to spend any time thinking about quilting designs, at least!

Previous posts on this quilt:

  • Part Zero
  • Part One: Center Star + Border 1
  • Part Two: Border 2 + Border 3
  • Part Three: Borders 4 to 6


    Linking up with: Cooking Up Quilts.

  • Monday, June 26, 2017

    QuiltCon Registration Day

    Last night, I had multiple dreams, and every single one of them involved QuiltCon's registration. In my dreams, I'd speed through the registration site and get my top picks. This is my first time registering for QuiltCon, and I was really nervous. I had heard stories that in the past, the site would crash due to too much traffic, or that it's nearly impossible to get all your top workshop choices because there's so many people for so few spots.

    I'm nothing if not good at planning, though. I had it all ready ... my credit card number on my clipboard, all the course codes of the courses I wanted to take and backup options on a piece of paper, and a slew of keyboard shortcuts to help me move through the registration process as quickly as possible. If this didn't get me at least some of my top choices, then I really don't know what else I can do!

    This morning, I watched the computer clock tick from 8:59:59 to 9:00:00, and clicked on the registration link. And ...

    Error. This event is not available for registration. Contact event planner.

    Say what?

    I figured it was a mistake, or maybe my clock wasn't in sync. I tried again, and again. The same. I finally posted a message on Facebook, and soon found that nobody could register! It took about 15 minutes, before I was able to finally register. I must have gotten really lucky, because I was one of the first ones to get into the system ... and got all my workshop picks.

    So, barring no unforeseen circumstances ...

    I'm beyond excited! Among the workshops I registered for, I have 3 with Angela Walters!

    Friday, June 23, 2017

    Geese in Flight ~ A Heart Builders Quilt

    I recently received this quilt top pieced by Annette Z to quilt for Stash Builder Box's Heart Builders charity. It is gorgeous, with tons of flying geese in different formations.

    Photo credit: @annettezee

    I loaded the quilt on my frame and got to work. When I first got my longarm, for some reason I was most fearful about learning to load. I've watched videos, and they didn't make any sense. But once I actually did it, I realized it's not that bad, and even kind of enjoyable! (Preparing the backing, on the other hand, is not the least bit enjoyable.)

    I looked at this top for awhile before I decided on my design. I did a swirl / paisley allover for most of it, but I highlighted a few of my favorite blocks and did a custom design for those.

    I finished it with a black binding to give it some extra drama. Now, once I can find a box to ship this, it's off to be given to a child in need!


    I joined the link parties at Busy Hands Quilts, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Crazy Mom Quilts, Sew Can She, and Cooking Up Quilts. Link up!

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    True Blue

    When I came across a quilt kit by Zen Chic using her True Blue fabric line at a quilt show, I felt simultaneously happy and guilty. Happy because it is such a beautiful kit, and the pattern is very easy and very me. Guilty because I already have the True Blue fabric bundle in my stash somewhere! Surely I don't need to buy it again in the form of a kit, right?

    But it was on sale ...

    This quilt top was so easy and relaxing to make because it's made of randomly paired half-square triangles. I love making half-square triangles! It's the only block I have truly mastered, mostly because I can trim it to size. And of course, the fabric is just so lovely.

    Quilting this, on the other hand, wasn't easy ... at least at first. I decided to play with contrast in both shape and scale. This is my first time using a ruler base to do ruler work, and at first, it was terrifying. But after about 1/3 of the quilt, I realized I was much more comfortable!

    In the foreground fabrics, I did a lot of geometric designs, and I highlighted a few patches and quilted a flower in them.

    In the negative space, it is all about curvy, swirly designs. I had some fun echoing some of the triangle designs in the negative space too.

    I had to sneak a feather in here somewhere! But it ended up being a big, showy feather that also divided up the space.

    This is the 3rd quilt I completed on my longarm. While every quilt is a learning experience, this one really stretched me, but I'm so happy with the end result!


    Link parties I joined: Cut & Alter, Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, Crazy Mom Quilts, and Sew Can She.

    Tuesday, June 13, 2017

    Facebook Rush

    Something kind of cool happened yesterday ... I was checking my blog analytics when lo and behold, I found 4000+ referrals from Facebook!

    I was floored. I had no idea who was linking to me or why. I clicked around a bit until I realized that my Tools page where I keep a set of quilting calculators that I use, was being linked to. It took me more sleuthing to find who had linked to it:

    So, thank you @FreeQuiltPatterns!. Thanks also to everybody who shared or visited or bookmarked the calculators.

    I only have 4 calculators there for now, and I use the first 3 (binding, backing, subcuts) all the time for my own quilts. But, I'd love to hear what else might be useful to you. So if you have any ideas, or if you found a bug in my calculators, feel free to let me know!

    Friday, June 9, 2017

    This Way Up ~ Ready to Quilt

    After finishing a foundation paper piecing top recently, I really wanted to do another. I saw Bijou Lovely's Woodcut pattern while browsing on Pinterest, and it captured my attention immediately. I knew I had to make it!

    The fabric collection I'm using is a subset of Spectrum by V and Co., a lovely collection of ombres and geometric prints in a rainbow of colors.

    As usual, I take my time to pre-perforate the paper pieces using a needle without thread, and a 1.0 stitch length. This part admittedly takes a long time, and it makes me slightly cross-eyed by the end, but I consider it a good investment to future paper piecing enjoyment. Here are a few benefits to pre-perforating:

    1) I can use plain old copy paper, which is cheaper than foundation paper piecing paper. With pre-perforating, it's very easy to remove it later.
    2) Folding on the perforated line is accurate and easy.
    3) I can use a longer stitch length, such as 2.0 when I sew the fabric, which is much easier to unpick if I need to. (And in foundation paper piecing, I frequently do need to unpick!)

    Piecing each block takes a long time as there are so many pieces. But it's worth it! Aren't these blocks adorable?

    Assembling this quilt was quite interesting because the blocks are on point, which I've never done before. My only concern is that the edges of the quilt are all bias, so I really need to be careful to not stretch it before I quilt it (or while quilting it). I have a pretty poor track record of not stretching bias edges, unfortunately.

    And ... it's ready to quilt!


    This post participated in the link party at Cooking Up Quilts. Link up and join the fun!

    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    A Time Turner Would Be Nice

    At long last, QuiltCon has finally released its courses & workshops schedule for the 2018 show in Pasadena. Most quilt shows don't release it until 2 months ahead of the show, but QuiltCon has released it more than 8 months before the show!

    Since I didn't get to go this year, I was determined to go next year. And as I looked at the workshops & lectures, I quickly realized there were far, far more courses that I wanted to take than I actually had time for. To help me schedule, I punched in all the classes I was interested in into my calendar, and well, shall we say ... I'm a bit overscheduled?

    Oh how I wish I had a Time Turner! (That's Harry Potter speak.) But since I don't have access to one, my other option is to prioritize, prioritize, and decide what I really want to take and what are just nice-to-haves. Besides, I also have to book in plenty of time for shopping and to see the quilts in the show!

    Friday, June 2, 2017

    Avant Garde

    I just completed my very first queen sized bed quilt, using the Avant Garde fabric collection that was almost too pretty to cut up. Almost ... so I cut it up into rather large pieces. I completed this quilt top a few months ago and waited until I had a longarm before quilting this quilt.

    It was actually the thought of quilting this quilt that had me decide to look into a longarm machine to begin with. It might have sounded like a ridiculous idea at that point, but once the idea took hold, there was no shaking it. Suddenly, I found all sorts of excuses to justify why purchasing a longarm might be a good idea. (I even convinced myself at one point that I can make it pay for itself eventually. Some day. When my robot butler does everything else in the house.) But I'm so glad for that moment of insanity that started me down the path toward my longarm!

    This quilt is fairly forgiving to quilt because the fabric is so busy and bright. I did a back and forth design on the sashing strips and practiced a lot of my favorite fillers in the wavy strips. Most of the quilt alternates between two designs: swirls / paisley allover and wonky spirals. I quilted it on a bigger scale than I normally do because this is a bed quilt and I didn't want it to be too stiff.

    I highlighed a section of the quilt by quilting it differently, with pebbles and feathers. This is definitely my favorite section! I can't get enough of the texture, especially on this batting! For the first time ever, I used a polyester batting (Quilter's Dream Poly) and I'm in love with it. It's just as easy to quilt with, has a little more loft, and is cheaper than cotton.

    I am so happy with this quilt! The fabric was stunningly beautiful, the pattern was interesting, and the quilting was so much fun. I think this quilt looks great on the guest bed, and every morning when I walk by the guest bedroom, I'll see it and smile.


    This post participated in the link parties at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Cooking Up Quilts, and Crazy Mom Quilts. Link up and join the fun!

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