Monday, March 2, 2015

Goings on in the Sewing Room

Sorry - it's been over a week since I dropped in here! But it doesn't mean I haven't been busy stitching away!

I went to Quiltcon last week! It was my first and so inspiring! I took a class on Friday with Elizabeth Hartman and made 3 blocks from her newest book Patchwork City. Most of you know that I've been quilting for a long time, but I love this art because it seems there's always something to learn or a new perspective on this old craft. She talked a lot about fabric selection and showed her awesome method of using freezer paper templates. And to keep my pledge of not having any UFO's, I came home and finished the blocks into a mini quilt. I definitely want to think about some new fabric choices to make one of the larger quilts from the book!


Just before I left, I started cutting out a Glam Clam quilt using mostly Cotton+Steel. It's been on my list for this year and a couple of Instagrammers got me all fired up. It's a lot of curves and I sewed a few together before cutting out the whole quilt just to be sure I was ready for it. It really goes together easily. I'm doing the 8" size and the pattern is free on Craftsy.



I've got a backing ready for my latest quilt. I made 3 giant blocks (they're 19 1/2" x 18") to stretch out a piece of yardage that I wanted to use on the back. Hope to start quilting this week. And thank you for all the name ideas! You guys are so much better than me at coming up with names! I'm leaning toward "Fletching". It always has looked like a part of an arrow to me and I had to look up the term, but I think it may be perfect!


And finally, I've been getting prepared for a retreat next week. As always, I'm looking forward to it and hoping for a touch of Spring in the air! The blocks are from Fat Quarter Style and the fabric is Joel Dewberry's newest line Flora.


And that's what I've been up to! How about you?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Free Pattern!

A while back I saw this image and pinned it. I thought it could make a really great quilt block design.

It's been rolling around in my head ever since, contemplating colors/fabrics and I knew at some point I had to give it a try. There's a bit of fear working without a pattern - no picture to refer to and no way to know what the final outcome will be. But I went for it in a combination of navy, gray, aqua and mint. And here's the result...


The block is really so simple, but makes a nice graphic impact.




I posted a photo on Instagram last week and it generated a lot of interest! I think you could really play around with different settings and configurations for the block.


So here's a little cheat sheet on making the block. You start with rectangles and use background squares, sewing corner to corner, pressing and trimming. Just make sure that you watch the direction of your sewing lines. One will go one direction and the other will go the opposite. {You should be able to right click and save this whole image}

I'm not good at naming my quilts - so at the moment it's nameless. Any suggestion?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Juggle

I've become a big fan of fabric design by Bonnie Christine for Art Gallery Fabrics. So when "Winged" came out, I went for the Fat Quarter bundle. I wanted to make something simple. Something that showcased each of the beautiful pieces in the line.


I ended up choosing a Thimbleblossoms pattern (I know - another one!) called Juggle. The nice size hexagons seemed perfect for this fabric.


As always, I added a few stash fabrics, but not too many this time...


The quilting is done with Stitch #4 on my Bernina - the Serpentine. I did adjust the length and width a bit to get the look I wanted. I had forgotten how quickly this quilting design goes!


The backing is a pretty floral from "Winged" and the binding is Art Gallery Squared Elements, which I seem to be using again and again for binding.


It was time to switch out some rolled up quilts in my basket, so here is it's home for now - that is until someone needs a pretty quilt for a nap...



Friday, February 6, 2015

An Irish Chainish Quilt?

I have a finished quilt to show today! This quilt came about after trying to organize my overflowing Anna Maria Horner stash. I thought it would reduce the volume - but somehow that never seems to happen! I guess when she continues to release these gorgeous, irresistible lines my efforts are futile!

I really love this quilt. It's kind of designed like a simple Single Irish Chain.


It's created with a simple 6" finished square and a simple 6" finished Nine Patch. The only tricky part is that you do have to lay everything out so that your Nine Patch squares match the corresponding print square. I also added a border around the edge that incorporates 2" squares to finish out the pattern.


The background is a light gray {even though it looks kind of beige in these pictures} - Moda Bella Fog. I did some diagonal straight line quilting through the small squares and a simple quilting motif in the 6" squares.


I'm sure there are future AMH fabric quilts in my future!!

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's a Twofer Today!

I have two fun things to share with you today!

First up is a mini I made after I won a Mini Charm Pack of Color Theory from Amanda at Westwood Acres. {If you don't follow her on Instagram - you should - she does lots of fun giveaways!}

I thought the fabric would be perfect for another mini Hexie quilt. I made one for a Christmas exchange and knew immediately that I'd have to make one for myself at some point.


The hexies are prepped just as if you were doing EPP. They're then glued on to the background and stitched down with the quilting stitches. So fun, quick and easy. You can find the complete tutorial at Modern Handcraft.


Fun thing #2 ~ I was asked to participate in Moda's Mix It Up Monday on Instagram. Well, this was right up my alley as I had to choose fabrics from several different Moda lines that would work well together.

I decided rather than start with a focus/multicolored fabric {which is a great way to start}, I'd choose a color scheme ~ navy, gray and aqua. 


And they just happened to be the colors I'm doing my kitchen in after we had it painted last month {SW Rainwashed}.


So I made this yesterday! Super Bowl and everything. I used three of these 12" blocks and sewed them in a row, flipping the center one. I decided I wanted it a bit wider, so I added 1" finished strips to each side. You could easily just add an inch to the pieces on each side of the block, and make 14" wide blocks instead.


Now some really fun news! How about a chance to win this bundle? You have to go to Instagram, find @modafabrics and follow the instructions. Quick - you only have until Tuesday at midnight! Good Luck!




Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cracker

A friend invited me over for a sewing day on Monday. I didn't have a project ready to piece {well, I actually did, but I wasn't in the mood for it}. So I went to my 2015 project list and decided to start on a traditional block called Cracker.


It was block I had pinned on Pinterest and there's a great tutorial at Simple Girl, Simple Life.

I used my typical method of choosing fabrics for a quilt - so I thought I'd walk you through it today.

I started with a line called Wildwood by Elizabeth Olwen. I love her art and had purchased her earlier line Grey Abbey. So I added some of those. I also found that she is designing some fabric for JoAnn's, so off I went and found a couple of additional prints. Also scored a backing with a coupon!


Then I pulled some fabrics from my stash to add to the mix. I was looking for similar colors and a similar feel. I didn't want the pieces that I was adding to dilute the look of the original designs. So my additions tend to be very basic and geometric. Dots, stripes, tone-on-tones.


And here is how they all looked together...


I made a few blocks to be sure my measurements were correct and that I liked the size and scale...


And it turned into a productive day! Fun too!!


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Flowering Snowball Quilt finish!

I finished my Flowering Snowball quilt this week! You may remember that I started hand quilting it and then changed my mind. I'm so glad I did. I'm really happy with the way it turned out.


You may also remember that I was struggling with the thread basting stitches getting caught up in the foot. Well, one of you geniuses suggested I remove the basting stitches as I prepared to quilt each section. That helped tremendously! Such a simple solution. Why didn't I think of it?

I really loved the straight lines in the background that I was hand quilting and was able to do it by machine with no problem. I did these straight lines with my free-motion foot (drew them with a disappearing marker first), sneaking along the seam between the lines. They turned out really well. I was worried about how straight they would be - but not too bad. And, really, I don't think my hand quilted lines would have been perfectly straight either.


Here's a full shot in the soft afternoon light. Such a great pattern!


You can learn more about the pattern, the templates and making the quilt in my earlier post!