Friday, October 26, 2018

Lantern Lane ~ A Love Affair with Paper Piecing

Since the beginning of my quilting journey, I've loved foundation paper piecing. I learned the technique very early on, and because I was told by the instructor that it was easy and forgiving, I believed her. Since then, I've always seen it as the gateway to perfect points intricate piecing.

And so, when I saw Lantern Lane by Sassafras Lane, I knew I had to make it. I could see the inspiration of Chinese lanterns so clearly, and I also immediately knew what I wanted to use for the fabric: a collection from Connecting Threads called Captiva. It consists of blues, yellows, grays, and I've been saving it for a while waiting for the perfect pattern, and this was it!

I usually take the time to pre-perforate the paper, but this time it would have taken far too long. So I dug out my tracing wheel from my brief stint as a garment sewer to perforate it. It worked really well, except it left some marks on my cutting mat that doesn't seam to "heal". It didn't seem to affect the cutting mat's function, at least.

And here are the blocks, so perfect! Originally I was very worried about having to match so many points, but this pattern was brilliant in the way it's assembled and pressed, so that everything seam locks together perfectly with little effort.

Here's a little sample of the rows I assembled so far. The whole quilt will have 49 blocks, but I'm so loving how it looks so far!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Tangerine Dreams

I have gotten into the habit of putting quilt tops away after I'm done with them and not taking them out to quilt until at least several months have passed. I call it marinating, and somewhere, somehow, I hope that ideas can come to me for how to quilt it as I'm happily doing something else. Another benefit of marinating is that once the quilt top isn't so fresh, I will have become detached and hence less afraid to mess it up during quilting.

And that's exactly what happened for Tangerine Dreams. I pieced this top several months ago, and since this is a quilt of my own design (using the dynamically generated pattern Haphazard) I felt extra pressure to make the quilting really good. But last week, while idly browsing through some photos in my library, I suddenly got a vision in my head of how I wanted the quilting to go. So, it finally got quilted!

I wanted to try something on this quilt that I never tried before: lots and lots of straight lines. However, I wanted them to run in different directions, so in the orange spaces, I quilted straight lines running in horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines that run parallel to one of the seams.

In the gray / white spaces, I started introducing curvier designs, and I did a lot of feathers and continuous flowers. I also added one design that is a pretty new one for me, but which I really have fallen in love with: wavy lines.

And last but not least, in all the big open white spaces I did a feathery swirl. It's my first time trying this design as well, and I'm happy that it seemed to turn out well!

My mom asked for my first Haphazard quilt and took it to Shanghai with her. I've been wanting one of my own since, and now I have one. This one I'm keeping! It totally goes with my decor, doesn't it?


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, October 12, 2018

#100Days100Blocks2018: Cityscape

Cityscape is the 2nd of my #100Days100Blocks2018 quilt tops, using the Skyline layout. I've always had a thing for skylines, so naturally I was very attracted to this layout.

While I love black and white and gray and would have no problem making a quilt with just those colors, I absolutely love the pops of neon in this quilt. I had just enough for one "colored" floor for each building, so I placed it in the floor below the penthouse unit for each building.

I ended up using all but 2 of the blocks I sewed for this top. I had to grit my teeth a bit through the assembly process because it really wasn't very fun. But ... assembly rarely is!

I now have two beautiful tops from the #100Days100Blocks2018 challenge. I'm not sure which one I love more, Trellis, or this one!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Heart Builders: My Farewell Quilts

Last week I had the pleasure of quilting 4 quilts for Heart Builders, a charity run by Cotton Cuts. As a longarmer for Heart Builders, I just have to receive the quilt tops pieced lovingly by other members, request materials, and get to work.

First, I received a lovely top pieced by Jan Snyder. I quilted it with swirls because well ... texture, speed, and beauty!

Also, I received 3 quilt tops from Jan Ochterbeck. The first top is a triangle design, and her points are just perfect! I quilted this with a combination design with swirls, feathers, and paisleys ... in larger scale, of course. This is supposed to be a cuddly quilt, after all!

For the next quilt, I used a paisley design. I'm not sure what this pattern is called, but some sort of delectable mountain?

For the final quilt, another triangle pattern, I actually tried a design I've never done before ... loops. After I used this design, I can see it's they're popular. It's so FAST!

And because I love quilt stacks, here's a picture of them all stacked up before I send them off!

After 2 years with Heart Builders, I've made the decision to leave. I learned a lot and truly enjoyed my experience there, but I've recently reduced my quilting time in order to pursue other passions of mine that I neglected while I ate and breathed quilting. I do plan to quilt every day still, but I also want to squeeze in other things, as well!

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