Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Professionally Quilted Entry

If you follow along, you know my first entry into this fall's Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side was my first modern quilt.  For my second entry, I had to share (again because I love it so much) the most recent modern quilt I finished.  I think entering both kind of shows my evolution.

I really wasn't sure I wanted to commit to a Quilt A-Long but Melissa over at Happy Quilting did such a fabulous job at designing this Star Surround pattern, I knew it could be made to fit my style perfectly.

I rarely find time anymore to make quilts for myself so it was great fun to pull out some fabrics I have been collecting for quite some time.

With a small goal being due every week, I was able to keep focussed.  I confess I loved having the blocks for this quilt around to look at as it was coming together.

I veered slightly from the pattern and used more prints to get a scrappier look.  I had so many georgeous fabrics I wanted to get into this top I just couldn't pare them down to just a few.

There are rich wovens and shot cottons, lots of geometric prints and even some text fabrics.

I still prefer not to use white as my backgrounds so I went with an ash gray.

I really think it set the blocks off beautifully!

I did quilt this one myself on my longarm so I am entering it in the professionally quilted category.  Not having a whole lot of time to get it done, I knew I needed to quilt for texture and keep the patterns simple.  I went with tight curls in all the gray backgrounds.  In the cornerstones, I did some simple echo stitching to add some geometry to that center square.

The center star was quilted with some simple straight lines.  I also quilted  the outer surround star in a random line quilting to compliment the center.

It was hard to capture in a photo but I quilted some organic meandering in the space between the line work.  Visually, the different shapes and textures really look great!  I wish you could all see this quilt in person.

When it was finished, I was so glad I decided to join in on the fun.  I think this quilt really helped me to zero in on my own modern style and feel proud of the results.

For so many reasons, I think this quilt is my absolute favorite to date.  I hope you don't mind if you have had to see it again!

Blogger's Quilt Festival -

I really hope you are able to find time to take a peak at all the great quilts being linked to this season's festival.  There are so many gorgeous quilts out there, it is pretty hard to choose some favorites.  I do know I have seen some pretty inspiring quilts and I am sure there will be many more added before the festival is finished!

Thanks for stopping by!  If you are new to my blog, I hope you enjoyed your visit.  If you have been following along, I hope to have my Double Crossed quilt top done which uses some of the same fabrics as this quilt.  It's looking great and I hope to share more pictures soon!!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Throw Quilt Entry

I have been seeing all the lovely entries for the past few days for the  Blogger’s Quilt Festival over at Amy’s Creative Side and decided that I wanted to enter a couple quilt of my own.  As I was contemplating which quilts to choose, I thought I would include the first "modern" style quilt I made.

I had been quilting for a few years when the modern quilting movement came to be.  As I am someone who loves scrappy and am not a big fan of white, in the beginning, I wasn't quite sure what to think of this style of quilting.

So, I just gave it a try and this fun quilt was the result.

I still kept the prints very scrappy.  I used a mix of new and stash fabrics.

This was really the first time I used gray in a quilt also.

Designing up a more modern quilting designs was also new. Most of my longarm quilting in the past had been on very traditional quilts.

I went with wavy lines to accentuate the woven ribbon design of the quilt and quilted a fun texture in the white.  It was fun exploring some new looks.

All in all, I was quite pleased with the experience and the finished product.  It is a quilt that I am quite attached to, which is very rare.  I still have a hard time using white in my quilts but have learned now that the quilting police will not come after you if you use gray or navy in its place.


Thanks for stopping in.  Be sure and check out all the entries in all the categories.  I have been seeing lots of inspiration and ideas and the stories behind each quilt are always fun to read. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

On the Design Wall

Most of my energy lately has been going into my kitchen remodel.  Thankfully, I think the worst is over and it is slowly looking like a kitchen again.  WooHoo!!  
I am thinking hoping one more week and things will get back to normal.

I have been able to steal away for a few minutes here and there to get into the sewing room.  Thought I would share what I have been working on.

I am still making progress on Amy Smart's pattern Double Crossed.  I am planning on making the quilt about 64" by 80" so I need about 80 blocks.  I have everything cut out and about a third of the blocks finished.  

I hope to have more of it to share soon.

I could probably be far more productive if I would just work on one project at a time.

But in between blocks, I have been working on sewing up my scrap 2 1/2" strips together.

I keep a separate scrap bin for all of my 2 1/2" strips (bindings, jellyroll pieces, etc.) and any that are over 20" get paired up and a 16 patch block is made.  I spent some time this morning sorting them into possible quilt tops.

I always like to make up a few donation quilts during the holidays.  Looks like I will be assembling three different colorways with these blocks.

 So that is what I'm working on.  Hope to show off some finished tops soon!  Thanks for stopping by!!

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday and 627Handworks for Thursday Threads.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A few tricks to making Potholders

 With only about 2 months until Christmas, I thought I had better get working on a few small holiday gifts. As I was sewing a mini charm pack of Aspen Frost I had won in a giveaway from Clothstitched into a couple of potholders, I thought I would share a few tricks I use to make mine.

I used to quilt my potholders through a 4 layer sandwich consiting of the top, cotton batting, Insul-brite and the backing.  I found that when I perforated the Insul-brite with quilting, it seemed to allow some heat and steam to come through the potholder into my hand.

I now just quilt the top layer and the cotton batting together.

I then just layer the quilted top to the Insul-brite and the backing and stay stitch the edges to to make it easier to apply the binding.

And because I am TERRIBLE at machine sewing bindings, I use a decorative zigzag stitch rather than a straight stitch so if I miss a small area of the binding on the backside, the binding will still get caught in some of the stitches.

I make and attach my bindings similar to how I attach it on a quilt.  I just start and stop the binding in a corner.  I tri-fold and topstitch a bit more of the binding and loop it back to catch it under the binding when I sew it to the back.  To do this, I topstitch the tab first, pin in the tab under the binding then machine sew the binding around the potholder using a zig zag stitch.

Because I don't quilt all the way through all the layers, the backs of my potholders have no stitching.

I really like the clean look they have. I have some I have used for years and I have not had any problems with laundering or use.

So now it is back to my sewing room to sew up the binding on the second potholder and I have another holiday gift in the "Done" pile.  Yay!

Hope you are making progress on your holiday sewing.  I always suggest making potholders.  They are easy and fast and always seem to be a welcome gift.

Linking up with Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday, Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday and Show and Tell Tuesday at I have to Say.  Be sure and head over to see more inspiring projects!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy for a Finish!

Well,  I am happy to report I already have a finish on my 4th quarter Finish A-Long list with Leanne she can quilt!  It was a fairly easy finish as it only needed quilting but with my schedule right now, it is challenging to get even something small like this onto the quilting machine.

I kept the quilting really simple and just did horizontal quilting at irregular spacing.

This quilt was really the quilting equivalent of cleaning out the refrigerator.  All sorts of odds and ends went into this top.

Most of the fabrics were left over from this quilt.  I had made this little class sample for some raw edged applique I was teaching to my sewing group Project:Quilt.

Here is the quilt top we made in our sewing bee where I shared the technique.  Everyone brought scraps and a top was made in a few hours.

And here is the project that I wish I could say was finished.  This is currently the state of my kitchen. As my home was built in the 40's, deciding to change out the chipped up enamel sink turned into this.

It will be so nice to have a normal size refrigerator, taller counters and more cabinet space.

Or that is what I try and keep telling myself while I live with this mess.  Hopefully the cabinets will start going in next week and it will start looking like a kitchen again.

Now I am going back to my studio where it is a little quieter and a whole lot cleaner!  As everything that was in the kitchen is now piled here in my office, it looks like an episode of Extreme Hoaders in here.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Thursday Threads at The Bored Zombie, TGIFF at Quilt Matters, Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I get a Whoop Whoop!?.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Some Stash and Studio Additions

Even though I am trying to use up my scraps and the other fabric I seem to have stored all over my home, I still see those special pieces that I know just need to come home with me.

As I was heading out the door of a local quilt store, I spied these three beautiful stripes way down on the bottom shelf.  I love them so much, I might have to go back and get more.

These fabrics are from Micheal Miller and the designer is Mark Hordyszynski.

And these lovelies also found their way to my home.  Not only were they on sale, but I also got an additional 30% off.

Most of these fabrics are by Cloud 9 and are part of the micro Mod line by Rob Bancroft.

As you can see, they are already making their way into a project I started yesterday.  I am adding these new fabric additions to some scraps from my Star Surround and older stash pieces. 

I will certainly be sharing more of this project once I get a few more blocks finished.

Not only did I make some additions to my stash, I also picked up a few new items for my sewing room.

I am ashamed to show you the condition of my cutting mat.  I have been using it for over 15 years and as you can see it was pretty worn out.

Now I have a nice new 24" x 36" cutting space!

I always ask myself why I waited so long!  Boy is it nice!

I also bought this handy hanging wire basket.  I placed it right by my ironing board so I can store items like scissors, Best Press, and other odds and ends and not take up table space.

I might even put a fun coat of paint on it one day but I sure am enjoying it the way it is.

...and if you are curious, I am still working on the Scrappy Goose.  I have a plan and the top is almost done.  I hope to get it quilted soon and reveal it as a scrappy entry for the upcoming Blogger's Quilt Festival.

Thanks for your encouragement to get it done! 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!  Maybe some fun additions will be added to your own stash or studio!

Linking up with Sunday Stash at Finding Fifth, Anything Goes Mondays at Stitch by Stitch and Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Finish A-Long goals for 4th Quarter

Last quarter was my first time joining in on the fun at the 2013 Finish A-Long hosted by Leanne at she can quilt.  I had listed 5 projects that I had hoped to finish and I am happy to say I completed 4 of them!  I didn't expect to finish that many and am feeling pretty happy about it.  So I am following that success with even loftier goals this quarter!  Here's the list...

The English Paper Pieced snowflake quilt needs to get quilted!  As I was hoping to use this on my sofa this holiday, I just can't let this one slip.  The top has been finished for months yet I seem to have waited until the last moment. 

Of course the "scrappy goose" is going on the list.  I have a plan now so I just need to not only get the blocks pieced into a quilt top, but it will need to be worked into the quilting queue.  

That is always the hardest for me.

 This project was the hold out from last quarter.  This quilt top has been done for about 4 years and just never seems to make it to the top of the pile.  

Maybe this quarter....

Here's another quilt top that just needs quilting.  This was made with leftover "chunks" of fabrics that were hanging around my sewing room.  I had a pile of those turquoise strips that were the by-product from an older project and I just couldn't toss them.  So of course I had to design a whole quilt around them!

 (This quilt top did clean out a bunch of scraps from the sewing room so its a "win" already!)

 And finally, I purchased these fabrics with the intent on making a bunch of fabric buckets for my studio and sewing room almost a year ago.  They have been sitting on my sewing table since.  I say these need to get done by the end of the year also.

Well, there you have it.  Five more items I would love to get off my project list.  Don't worry, there will still be those new projects I want to start or the impulse "great" idea I get late at night for a new scrap design.  You can bet there will be lots of those and I will be sharing everything with you.

Wish me luck!! I am going to need it!

she can quilt

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Thursday Threads at 627handworks and Really Random Thursday at Live a Colorful Life.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Moving forward and Looking ahead

Yes...I am still working on this *@^# scrappy quilt.  Don't get me wrong, I really like how it is turning out.  But it has grown into a much larger quilt than I had originally planned.  Plus, there is far too much cutting and scrap sorting on this one!  Truthfully, I am extremely bored with it....however, I am determined to keep moving forward.

I have finally reached the point where I need to decide the block layout so I thought I would get your input.

I was originally going to set the blocks on point.  I like how this looks but I am struggling with how to treat the inset triangles.

(We will call this option #1)

But today I thought it might look interesting to stagger the blocks. 
(option #2)

Or I can set the blocks to create a pinwheel effect with the geese.  I have made something like this in the past and liked the finished effect. (option #3)

(sorry about the blurry picture)

What do you think....Do you have a favorite?

I am really motivated to get this off my design wall as I found out last week that I won some of Amy Smart's (Diary of a Quilter) patterns!  Yay!!  As you know, I took part in the100 Quilts for Kids drive this year and I won the below suite of patterns!  I love Amy's patterns due to their scrappiness and have decided to make each one completely out of my scraps/stash.
(backs and all) 

So feel free to also weigh in on which one you would like to see me work on first.  You can bet I will be starting on one of these as soon as the scrappy geese blocks are all sewn together!

...and if you would like a copy of these patterns yourself, you can click on each picture and it will take you to Amy's pattern site.  I have already looked at the patterns and they are really well written.
I know I can't wait to get started.

Linking up with Stitch by Stitch for Anything Goes Monday and Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River.

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