Thursday, October 7, 2021

Glass Candies

Since I've been on a journey lately to finish some of my favorite quilts instead of saving them for later, lately every quilt I've chosen to work on is special. But some are just more special than others.

Glass Candies is one of my all-time favorites. Both the pattern (Dude Ranch) and the fabric (Confetti Ombre) are designed by V & Co. I renamed it Glass Candies because as I was piecing this, I kept thinking of those beautiful Murano glass candies I saw on a trip to Venice.

This quilt is made up of half-square triangles and squares so it was quite easy and lots of fun to put together. The only painful part was assembly as it's assembled on the bias.

I had so much fun coming up with a quilting design for this quilt. I kept things very simple in the foreground (just continuous curves) and went to town in the background, creating geometric secondary designs and complementing them with swirls.

It took me a long time to quilt this, because I was enjoying it so much and wanted to savor the process ... and because it was a lot of quilting. I have the big M-sized bobbin on my longarm, and it still took about 10 bobbins!

I'm thrilled with the end result, as it turned out better than I imagined. This one is a keeper!

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Sedona

Because I promised myself to quilt some of my favorites in the stash this year, I decided to pull out Sedona. Sedona, designed by Sew Kind of Wonderful, is a beautiful black and white quilt featuring some really neat piecing. It is probably the most graphic quilt I've ever made!

The piecing process of Sedona was intricate and difficult, but I managed to get through it because of the great pattern writing and the usage of the specialty ruler. It's also perhaps the first row-by-row quilt I've ever done.

I had auditioned half a dozen different plans to quilt this, but none seemed right for the quilt. Every time I closed my eyes, I imagined this quilt with simple half-inch spaced matchstick quilting. So that's what I ended up doing.

I took a deep breath before committing, but I felt better as soon as I quilted a few lines and knew I wasn't going to second guess myself anymore ... mostly because ripping would take too long!

Quilting this quilt reminds me a bit of making Aztec Sky, which is also a black and white quilt that I did half-inch matchstick quilting on. Except Sedona was a little easier because it's pieced, hence it's straighter and the seam lines help a lot to keep me aligned.

I'm very happy with the end result, and glad that I was able to finish another of my favorites! While I don't think I can achieve my goal of finishing 17 quilts this year (due to a busy summer), I am glad I talked myself into quilting some of my most precious tops.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Atmosphere

The Atmosphere quilt along came along last year at a very unusual time. When it was first announced, the pandemic was barely a blip on my radar. By the time I was making the quilt top for the quilt along, however, things were getting serious. We had just started the lockdowns in my state, and my family was struggling to figure out remote learning. It's hard to imagine that that was almost a year and a half ago!

And now as I'm finishing up this quilt, I can look with a hopeful eye into the future that things might finally be getting back to normal, or normal-ish.

Atmosphere is an all-solids quilt designed by Lee Heinrich consisting of half-square triangles and flying geese, and it is truly spectacular in the array of colors it has! Keeping things organized during piecing time would have been a challenge, but the pattern was so well-written and helped me keep things perfectly organized.

One of the things I particularly love about this quilt is the secondary designs, and I wanted to emphasize that in the quilting. I used a lot of geometric designs and ribbon candies to link the shapes together.

In the more open areas, I used a dense swirl for background. With a matching thread, the swirls add a lot of texture and look so elegant.

I really love all the beautiful colors of this quilt, and it's such a bright and cheerful quilt!

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Blog Hop: Just One Charm Pack Quilts ~ Cat's Eye

This is probably a very common story, but I started my quilting journey with a single charm pack. Just one charm pack to try this quilting thing out. It led to a baby quilt, which then led to a new obsession, and now I have far too many charm packs in my stash. What to do with them?

This is why I was so happy with the news that Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Design has a new book coming out called Just One Charm Pack Quilts, and I was honored that she invited me to participate in the blog hop. The quilt I chose to make is called Cat's Eye, consisting solely of half-square triangles.

The fabric I chose is some of my very special fabric that I've been holding onto for a long time: First of Infinity by Kumiko Fujita. The huge funky prints are so interesting and unique, and they breathe a kind of urban pace which I adore.

I modified this pattern just slightly from the book version, as I wanted a slightly larger lap-sized quilt.

I designed the quilting to complement the feel of the print: angular and linear. In fact, this entire quilt is made up of just straight lines! The center of the quilt is my favorite with a square spiral design.

I love the look on the back too, as the quilting shows up great on the solid backing.

I really enjoyed making this quilt, both the piecing and the quilting, and I've had a great time participating in this blog hop and finally using up some of that precious First of Infinity fabrics. Be sure to check out the other stops on this blog hop to see other gorgeous quilts made from charm packs!

Monday, June 14, 2021

Geode

Without a doubt, Geode is one of my favorite quilt tops in my stash. In fact, it was one that I held onto for a long time, deeming it too-precious-to-finish. But since this is the year that I aim to finish at least a few of my most precious quilt tops, I decided to pull this one out.

The pattern is by Blossom Heart Quilts, and the fabric collection I used is Imprint by Katarina Roccella for Art Gallery Fabrics. Imprint came out in 2015, before I even knew what a quilt was, so I had a hard time getting even a full set. The scarcity effect is no doubt part of why I love this quilt so much!

I incorporated just 3 designs into Geode: piano keys, swirls, and dot-to-dot designs.

Though simple, I love the high amount of contrast between these designs. I don't usually mark, but for piano keys I make an exception, because I love the evenly spaced look.

I'm so happy for finally having the guts to dig out this quilt top to quilt it. I hope it gives me the impetus I need to pull out a few more of these too-precious-to-quilt quilts.

I'm really happy with the quilts I've done so far this year, but since school's out and summer's in full swing, I will be taking a mini-break on quilting. However, I will be participating in the blog hop of Just One Charm Pack Quilts, a new book from Cheryl Brickey of Meadow Mist Designs. The blog hop starts in mid-July, so I will be back then to show the quilt I made from her book!

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Go Kites

It's time for another rainbow quilt! I decided to pull out Go Kites as I knew just what I wanted to do with it. Rainbow fabrics and lots of white space to play with in a block layout? That's my favorite type of playground.

I'm not sure what this pattern is actually called, as the pattern itself didn't say. I decided to name it Go Kites because these blocks are kind of kite blocks. The fabric used is Basic Mixologie by Studio M.

The pattern uses a specialty ruler, but I used my preferred method of foundation paper piecing. It was overall easy and fun and pretty stress-free.

For the quilting, I did simple dot-do-dot designs in the rainbow fabrics as it won't show anyway, and did more intricate multiple filler designs in the white space. It flowed in a diagonal fashion, so it was good to plan this ahead of time.

I really enjoyed working on this quilt and love the end result! I planned the quilting of this quilt (and of the last dozen or so quilts) with ProCreate, and it has had a majorly positive impact on reducing my quilter's analysis paralysis.

The back of this quilt is also very pretty, and overall, this turned out so much better than I had hoped for.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Facets

Facets is one of my favorite quilt-tops from last year, so I didn't expect to quilt it so soon, but when I looked through my queue to decide which quilt to quilt next, it jumped out at me, begging to be quilted. Well, I can't resist that when it happens!

The pattern is by Christa Watson, and I used nothing but scraps for this quilt. I remember the piecing process to be very fun but quite stressful as well due to its improv nature. But the quilting process would just be plain fun.

I used several different designs in the colored fabrics, alternating them by rows. They include swirls and a geometric design with a plume feather. In the solids section, I used a very simple geometric design. I decided to use a greenish thread that blended in well with the improv sections, but still stood out a little on the blue.

And finally in the white sashing strips, I did a simple back and forth design spaced about 1/8" apart. This is one of the first designs I learned on the longarm, and I rarely use it. When I started to quilt this, I remembered why. It is incredibly demanding physically!

Facets was fun and fast to quilt, and though I don't think I'll be making another one anytime soon (improv is so exhausting), this is definitely a special quilt to me that I'll be keeping.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

City Tiles

After a few bright and rainbowy quilts, I definitely felt the need to work on something a bit more graphic. Enter City Tiles. The pattern is by Quilty Love, and the fabrics are all from Art Gallery Fabrics, though different collections.

The combination of fabric and the name of this pattern has a very urban, geometric feel to it, so I wanted to see if I can make the quilting also very urban and geometric.

I decided not to incorporate a single swirl, and instead make the entire quilt with dot-to-dot designs and dense lines. I adore the way those dense lines look especially when placed next to areas I left unquilted.

As usual, I kept the quilting very minimal in the foreground, especially because I'm working with Art Gallery Fabrics. I think anybody who has worked with Art Gallery Fabrics knows this, but the feel of AGF fabrics is just different from anything else I've used. It feels wonderful to the touch, but it's not my favorite to poke a needle through, and this is true during both the piecing and quilting phase.

I set a goal for myself this year to try to finish quilting 18 quilts, and so far I've been able to stay on track. I'm quite excited as some of my favorite quilt tops are on the schedule to be finished this year! We'll see what happens.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Iridescent

The Midnight Quilt Show with Angela Walters may have been over for more than a year now ... but I'm certainly not done making quilts that were featured in the show. My latest finish is Iridescent, a bright all-solids quilt designed by Slice of Pi Quilts.

Iridescent was so easy and so satisfying to put together because it's just squares and half-square triangles. The color placement would have been very confusing except for the fact that the pattern offered up a helpful chart, so there was no mix-up at all. Sometimes I just don't want to have to think.

But I do enjoy thinking when it comes to figuring out a quilting design. For the quilting, I designed a simple pattern that used a combination of dot-to-dot designs, a pebble and swirl fillers, and all the blocks are connected by a ribbon candy. That gave it a secondary effect which is always fun.

I really enjoy quilting all-solid quilts because I don't have to worry about obscuring prints or figuring out what to do with prints, and in addition, all-solid quilts really show off the quilting!

Some quilts aren't fun to quilt and I just push through it to enjoy the end result, but I truly loved every second of working on Iridescent. Once I figured out the quilting pattern, the execution was incredibly fun and satisfying. The last few weeks have been snowy and dreary here, so these beautiful colors certainly make me happy!

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Graffiti Quilting Fun

I'm a huge fan of Karlee Porter, who is known for her unique and awe-inspiring graffiti quilting. Although I own all her books, I wasn't quite able to understand the concepts well enough, until I finally took a Graffiti Quilting Master Class with her awhile ago.

I've taken quite a few quilting classes over the years, but most of them are just fangirl moments for me. I'm excited to meet the instructor, but I rarely take away that much from the classes because I tend to learn best from books. However, Karlee's Graffiti Quilting Master Class definitely taught me a lot more than I expected, and it was one of the best classes I've ever taken.

I didn't actually do any quilting during the lessons, and instead practiced drawing. This was my first attempt:

Then, I tried a bottom-up approach. On a longarm, I would have to quilt top-down, obviously.

Finally, I decided to have some fun with gradient coloring while I drew my 3rd sample.

I still haven't had a chance to try this on a real quilt, but I have no doubt that if can draw it, I can quilt it. I've been having so much fun just drawing them, though! In a way, it reminds me of improv piecing, where my brain hurts because it's on all the time, but the results are usually surprising and exciting for that very reason.
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