Thursday, February 8, 2018

Magnolia Mystery Quilt

I'm excited to share my Magnolia Mystery Quilt!

I decided last year to participate in Cheryl's {Meadow Mist Designs} Mystery Quilt. My first mystery quilt was probably 20 years ago when I was the person who organized one for my quilt guild. A mystery quilt is one where you follow the step by step instructions, but don't know the final outcome of the quilt until it's complete. At the time, I thought it would be fun, but learned quickly that for me - it's really not fun. I think my favorite part of the quilt making process, by far, is planning the quilt - choosing fabric and colors and deciding what goes where. I love the thrill of picturing it all in my mind and seeing the success (or failure) come to life. The mystery takes away my favorite aspects of quilt making!

But that's just me - many, many quilters love the intrigue and challenge of a mystery. Luckily for me, Cheryl offers a non-mystery option for her mystery quilts. And that's exactly what I did!

I actually agonized over the fabric choices for this one. I almost never make a quilt with just 4 fabrics and it was hard for me to choose the right combo. And since Cheryl is a friend and fellow member of my MQG, I even consulted her for an opinion!

I ended up with Kona Delft for the background, a solid navy, a solid white and "Splendid Oath" in Rain from the Wonderful Things collection by Bonnie Christine.

I custom quilted the quilt with stipples and straight lines in the blocks...

and straight lines in the top and bottom borders.

I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Playing With Triangles

I have my first finished quilt for 2018! It was actually pieced last year, but I recently quilted it.

My quilt was inspired by the Quilt-Along on the Bernina blog hosted by Brigette from Zen Chic. It's a block of the month quilt, with a new pieced triangle pattern provided each month. They're currently up to block 10.

I decided not to make all of the blocks and just used the block designs as inspiration for several pieced 60 degree triangles in my quilt. I chose blues, aquas and grays - one of my favorite color combinations. My quilt is quilted with straight lines done with the walking foot in the pieced areas. The lines follow the seams to create a diamond grid. The white side borders were free-motion quilted with paisley type loops.

The backing has a few leftover triangles and some large pieces of aqua that I had in my stash. The binding is a perfect match of gray.

This is probably one of the first quilts I've made with this much negative space. My husband asked if I had run out of patches and just got lazy! 

Really - it's negative space :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Hanging My New Quilt

This past Saturday, I was given this awesome wall quilt! It was made by the board members of Greenville MQG as a "thank you" for serving as president in 2017.

The quilt uses my Kisses Charity Quilt bock and you can find the free block measurements here.

I just love the setting that they used as it afforded a lot of space for our guild members to sign. It'll be a great memory of the fun year I had serving as President!

The pieced back is equally awesome looking. The quilting was done by Cheryl Brickey and it was bound by our rock-star binder, Paige Alexander.

I have to share with you a great method for hanging mini quilts. As I mentioned in my last post, we recently painted the sewing room and there were tons of little holes to fill since I have a tendency to change my wall quilt decor frequently. I had been using thumb tacks to hang them. I'm a huge fan of Command Strips and I thought maybe I could come up with a better solution using those.

And it's working really well! I'm using the picture hanging sets, which consist of 2 "rough side" velcro type pieces that snap together. I sewed a strip to each top corner of the quilt as pictured below. By stitching in the ditch of the binding on the front, there is no real visible stitching. I stuck the matching strip to the wall using the Command adhesive and just snapped the velcro type strips together. You'll see in the Sewing Room pictures that I have a bigger wall quilt hung the same way and it has held up great. 

Let me know if you give it a try!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

New Year - New Sewing Room?

Happy 2018!

I'm excited because I'm starting off the new year with not a new sewing room - but a freshly painted, cleaned up sewing room. It just feels new! I love seeing other people's sewing rooms, so I thought you might like a little tour...

I have a really nice sized space on the upper level of our house. The room is big, but has only one window and was feeling a bit dark with the beige paint that the builder used. So over the past week, we painted the room a white that has a tint of gray. The job turned out bigger than I had thought - my husband making four trips to the paint store :) The sloped ceiling took much more paint than I imagined!

But we got it done and it felt good to put everything back and reorganize it all. My fabric all fits on these shelves. I keep the majority of it folded and stacked in bins. Bigger pieces are wrapped around comic book boards and shelved. Those 2 small white baskets are scraps.

My machine is set up in one corner and faces the window...

I moved an Ikea desk up to my room this past Summer and I've loved having it for drawing and other crafty projects. The file cabinet holds all my patterns, notebooks and office supplies.

I have a shelf in the corner for books and an Ikea drawer unit with rulers, trims, fusible, etc...

About a year ago I cut up my Kona Color Card and mounted each swatch to foam board with velcro. It didn't have a home so I got it off the floor by using a Command Hook and hung it with a piece of bakers twine strung through 2 holes in the foam board...

My design wall is also located here and is simply a piece of flannel stapled to the wall and trimmed with strips of wood, painted to match the room trim...

I'm very happy with how it turned out! The paint colors I used are Eider White for the walls, Repose Gray for the trim and Peppercorn for the doors. All from Sherwin Williams.

Now I'm ready to start the new year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Wrap Up and Best Of

It's always fun to look back on a year of quilting and making, and be pleasantly surprised with all you've accomplished! I highly recommend it, whether you have blog or not. Several years ago I started putting a photo of every quilt as it's completed in a digital album for the year using the Photo App on my computer. I wait until the last quilt for the year is completed and can easily count them up. For 2017, I've completed 13 quilts and several smaller projects like bags, pouches and garments. I'd call that a great year!

As many of you that have been around here this year may know, I've also been trying to clean out some of my stash and find homes for many of my quilts. I'm happy to say that I've given 6 quilts to friends and family and donated 29 quilts to charity. Twelve of the charity quilts were for my local MQG's Quilts for Kids philanthropy project and helped me make quite a dent in my stash. I haven't counted yard by yard, but it feels like (judging from the shelf space) that I've reduced my sash by about 40%. I'm going into 2018 lighter in terms of stuff!

It's also interesting to look back on the blog posts and find which were the most popular. I'm linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and sharing my top 5 posts based on the most views.

Number 5

Number 4

Number 3

I enjoyed rereading all the comments on this one. It's an ongoing dilemma for those of us who love fabric, isn't it?

Number 2

Number 1

No surprise with any of these - they were some of my favorite quilts.

According to Blogger, I've written 584 blog posts as of today! Whether you've read 1 or 584, I truly appreciate this community. Thank you for being here. Thank you for leaving your thoughts and comments. Thank you for sharing this love of fabric, sewing and quilting. Here's to more creative fun in 2018! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Squares Plus

Squares Plus is my most recent finish {and probably the last one of 2017!}

The pattern is from McCall's Quick Quilts magazine February/March 2015. Obviously, I've had the pattern for a while, but put it off because of the massive amount of tedious piecing. Those tiny squares are 1" and the Plus blocks are 3"!

I'm so glad I finally made it - in reality, it was no where near as time-consuming and tedious as it was in my head.

I started with one floral print from Leah Duncan {you can see it above - 2nd row, left edge} and pulled coordinating fabrics from my stash in navy, peach, mint and blue. It sat unquilted for several months - mainly because it's a bigger quilt than I normally tackle. I finally decided a simple stipple was all that it needed and the quilting moved along pretty quickly.

Because the quilt is almost 80" long, I needed to add some length, so that I could use 2 widths of my backing fabric. Some extra Pluses to the rescue! And I ended up loving how they looked on the back.

One simple row...

I bound it in a navy wavy stripe.

I'm always excited to look back at my year of quilting and I'll be doing just that after Christmas and linking up with Cheryl from Meadow Mist Designs. I've also already started thinking about next year! So I hope to share that too!

Have a wonderful holiday!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Two new Quilts for Kids!

Time for a little catch up! It's been a month since I've blogged...

I recently finished up 2 charity quilts that I'll deliver tomorrow to my MQG.

The first is a pattern called Scattered designed by Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew for the book "Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe". I used scraps of Amy Butler fabrics collected over the years. Such a great pattern for small scraps!

As I was cutting up my scraps, I decided to cut what was left into 6" squares that I pieced together for a backing. I alternated rows of the squares with strips of the background and it turned out to be a 2-sided quilt.

The second quilt is named Framed and from Camille of Thimbleblossoms' book "Simply Retro". I had a leftover chunk of this pretty floral and just added an aqua background with scraps of pink, aqua and green.

I quilted it with swirls and bound it in a green diagonal stripe. It's really a sweet quilt in person!

In other sewing, I've made a couple of bags using patterns from Anna of Noodlehead.

The first is the Range Backpack that I gave to my daughter.

The second is a cross body bag that I made for myself using the Traverse Bag pattern.

Anna's patterns are just so easy to follow. I love it when things just fit together smoothly!

And that's what I've been up to :)