Thursday, February 7, 2019

Campfire Quilt

I have a new quilt to share today! This quilt is a pattern from Suzy Quilts called Campfire. I just love the modern play on a Log Cabin design.

I took advantage of a beautiful February day in SC to photograph this one in our city park...

In addition to Kona Ash, Kona Snow and Kona Navy, the fabrics are all from Jen Hewitt's line, Imagined Landscapes for Cotton + Steel. I love Jen's printmaking work so much, and was thrilled to see a line of fabric released with her designs. I sat on some half yards for a while hoping, to come up with a pattern that would do it justice. 

I quilted this one on my Bernina 440 using the walking foot and a curved cross hatch. It's a quilting design I hadn't tried and it was so simple to execute. I drew the first curve in each direction, then used the guide on my walking foot to space my lines 1" apart.

For a backing, I used this Loominous fabric by Anna Maria Horner. I think it compliments the fabrics really well. Be forewarned though, that this fabric bleeds considerably. I washed it 5 times and still found blue Color Catchers in the wash. I went ahead and used it, but I very likely will avoid washing the quilt.

The binding was made from a couple of leftover strips from the fabric line and Kona Navy.

I'm so happy with how it turned out!

Friday, January 11, 2019

Triangle Transparency

Last October, Greenville Modern Quilt Guild hosted Yvonne Fuchs from Quilting Jet Girl for a lecture and workshop on Transparency Quilts. In the workshop, we made Yvonne's Triangle Transparency Quilt, and mine is quilted and finished!

Yvonne was such a great instructor! The focus of both the lecture and class was on creating the illusion of transparency with fabric selection. I was able to use some blues that I had in my stash - 3 solids and 1 print - to create the shading necessary.

I used my walking foot and straight lines to machine quilt the project and I'm pretty happy with how the quilting lines compliment the design. I used a medium blue 50 weight Aurifil thread. The center design is one from Jacquie Gering's book, Walk and I love how it turned out!

It was such a fun quilt to make - with so many possibilities!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Best of 2018

Time to wrap up another year of quilting!

Although I didn't feel as though I'd accomplished as much this year, I ended up with 12 completed quilts. I have a few more tops to finish, but I'm still waiting on my machine to come home.

I also continue to love sharing and documenting my finishes here. I plan to continue that through 2019 and I'm sure hoping you'll continue to join me.

What were my top 5 blog posts this year? Here you go:

Number 5
Playing with Triangles

Number 4

Number 3
New Sewing Room

Number 2
How to Make a Quilt Pattern Your Own

Number 1
Summer String Quilt

I'm linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs as she and others also share their top posts of the year. Be sure to check it out!

My final words for 2018 are Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I so appreciate your visits here, your comments and your questions. I'm looking forward to another great year of quilt making!!!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Hand Made Hexagon Quilt

I have one last quilt to share before the year ends! I'm very pleased to have this one finished as it's completely hand pieced and hand quilted.

My photos aren't great this time, but I'm running out of 2018 days to get it documented.

I started the quilt this past Summer when I was looking for a sitting-on-the-couch-watching-TV-project. I've tried English Paper Piecing, but still haven't found a love for it. I decided to try and hand piece larger sized Hexagons together and found it fun and relaxing. The stitching line was drawn on the wrong side of each of the hexagons before hand stitching them together.

Once the top was completed, I thought it appropriate to hand quilt the top. I wanted a modern look of straight lines, in a more vintage hand quilted look.  I hadn't tried wool batting before, but was told it is easy to needle and perfect for hand quilting. It seemed the perfect fit, so I basted the top, some wool batting, and a Cloud 9 solid organic cotton in aqua blue for a backing.

I hand quilted all my quilts many years ago, and always used a hoop for lap quilting. I have a large hoop, but it turned out very impractical for straight lines of hand quilting. Although I was quilting with multiple needles, doing multiple rows, I found it difficult and not much fun. I pulled out all those rows of stitching.

Next I thought I would machine quilt straight lines, just to get it done. I sewed about 8-10 lines and really didn't like how it was looking - pulled those stitches out too.

The quilt sat for a while, with me thinking it may sit for years before I'd come up with a solution. Then I watched the Hand Quilting video tutorial from Suzy Quilts. It's a fantastic tutorial if you're new to hand quilting. I was very familiar with all the techniques, but she quilted in a way I hadn't thought of. I ended up laying the quilt across my cutting table and hand quilting each of the long straight lines across the top. You'd think that would take forever (or what seems like forever), but I spent every evening quilting 4-5 rows and had it done in no time!

I used #8 Pearl Cotton and a fairly big stitch. I'm so pleased with the result - the quilt has a soft, drapey texture to it.

So that's my last quilt for 2018! I'll be back before the end of the year with a post of my favorites from 2018. Merry Christmas to you all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Planning for 2019

I have one more quilt to share for 2018, before I recap the year of quilting, so I thought I'd go ahead and tell you what I'm planning to make in 2019...

For 2019 I'll be using the Quilter's Planner and I'm super excited about it! Although this is at least the third year for the planner, it will be my first time using it. My plan is to use it as a daily calendar, quilt project planner and a journal of what I do, make, read, watch and think. For the first time, I'm looking forward to having all of my thoughts and plans in one place.

I'm currently trying to finish up some WIPs - I love starting the new year with a clean slate. Unfortunately my Bernina is in rehab, and since it's the machine I do all my quilting on, I'll start the year with several tops to quilt.

But I also have some new projects that I'm gearing up for in 2019! I think the reason I've remained interested in quilting for so long is the fact that there is always something new to try or something old that has a new twist. So my goal for 2019 is to push myself to new designs, colors, fabrics and aesthetics. Lately, I've been draw to neutral colors, natural fabrics, hand-printed looks and vintage/modern.

With that in mind, here are a few projects on my 2019 list:

The Quilter's Planner came with a magazine filled with patterns, including the cover sampler designed by my friend, Cheryl Brickey. I love the blocks and her setting is so unique! But you know me, I have to do something different, so I'll be making many of the blocks and setting them into a different design that I created in EQ8. My version will be in shades of blue and blue/green.

The second project that I'm excited to start soon is this "Plot Twist" pattern by Anna Maria Horner. I've been itching to do some appliqué again and I love the boho feel of this pattern. I've changed the design a bit (no surprise!) and will end up with a completely different look as I'm using white and silver Essex Linen for my background stripes.

Speaking of linen, I've been stocking up on linens and hope to utilize them more frequently in my quilts. They give such a nice textural feel. I'm also playing with new-to-me color combinations and spent several hours the other day mixing and matching swatches from my cut-up Kona color card. 

I'll be using this beautiful Kaleidoscope fabric in Sapphire for a background on something. It's a beautiful dark blue fabric created by weaving two different colors of yarn. It also has a natural linen-like texture. Not sure what yet - maybe the Atomic Starburst?

Another beautiful neutral I can't wait to use is this Manchester embroidered cotton. It has tiny plus signs embroidered throughout. I bought it from Cottoneer Fabrics and it washed up wonderfully. 

"Mirage", which is included in the Quilter's Planner magazine, is also on my must-make list this year. It was designed by Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl. You know I want to change it up - maybe a darker background? It's going to be tough because I love this version so much.

I belong to a Design Bee locally and I'm looking forward to trying some new out-of-the-norm designs this next year. Each month someone presents a photo and we all make a block, mini or whatever inspired by the photo. This was my December mini quilt, inspired by the photo below it. I used Quilting Jet Girl's free pattern - the Diffraction block. After making 4 blocks, I added sashing between them and used the 6-Minute Circle technique to create the circle. It was a fun little project and I challenged myself to find a new-for-me quilting design. This one is found in Jacquie Gering's book "Walk".

I think those projects will keep me busy for at least part of 2019! I'm linking up with Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl for her 2019 Planning Party. Be sure to check out all the other "Linkys" if you're looking for ideas!

2019 Planning Party

Monday, December 3, 2018

Me and Yellow Green

Do you have a color that you don't care for, seldom use in your quilts, but seem to like it when everyone else uses it? For me that color is yellow-green.

They say (not sure who "they" are) we should use colors that aren't our favorites. For me that would be orange (not going there), purple (it's growing on me) and yellow-green.

Several weeks ago I decided to make Cheryl's quilt Midnight Mystery. It's been on my to-do list and I was excited for Alison Glass's new line Road Trip. I ordered fabric to make the quilt, including a yellow-green solid to use in the background of the star. It's a color I seem to like when combined with teal, which this quilt would feature prominently.

Excited to dive in, I made a block...

I didn't love it, so I made another one...

Then I thought maybe it was the pink...

To me, it was actually better. But then weeks went by and I had no desire to pick the project up again. That was a sign that it wasn't working for me.

This weekend, I found enough of a light aqua in my stash to start over with a new star background...

I liked it! And made another...

And another...

Then decided to cut out the remaining 6 blocks. I think I'm on a roll.

Many years ago, I heard in a class that every quilt should have an ugly fabric. As a new quilter, I took it to heart and did exactly that. And then I disliked that ugly fabric every time I looked at the quilt. And never again did I use an ugly fabric.

I've learned that I'm not going to use colors I dislike. You may see bit of yellow-green in a future quilt, but only in minuscule amounts. I do think it provides a nice little pop of color.

I went a bit crazy buying Alison Glass fabric with all the holiday sales. One out of about 12 pieces was yellow-green. I think that'll work for me!

How about you? Do you use colors or fabrics you dislike?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

How to Make a Quilt Pattern Your Own

If you've hung around in this space very long, you probably already know that I seldom use a pattern to make the quilt exactly as pictured. Part of the fun of making a quilt for me is the surprise element! I really like not knowing what the final project will look like!

Maybe you're different. Maybe you like the safety and reassurance that, after you spend money and time making a quilt, your efforts will pay off with a finished product that you absolutely love. I get that, and if that's what you enjoy - then feel free to follow the designer and make it exactly as pictured.

Or maybe you're more like me? When I find a pattern I love, my first thought is how can I love it in a different way? I like the challenge and the surprise element totally motivates me (at least in the beginning, until I see what the result will be). Does this method result in disasters? Well, maybe disaster is too strong a word, but it certainly does sometimes result in a quilt that's not absolutely perfect. But it's a risk I'm willing to take for the fun of quilting!

So today I have 6 ideas on how to change up a pattern and make it your own:

Tip One

Probably the easiest thing to do is to completely change the colors. The more drastic the change, the riskier, but often with awesome results.

For example, this is my version of Elizabeth Hartman's cover quilt. She used bold graphic colors, and I used soft colors from Bonnie and Camille fabric. You might not know it's the same quilt?
Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman
You may remember my Flight Path quilt from earlier this year and my struggles (and seam ripping) in using a completely different color combination from the original. And after all those frustrations, I ended up with a quilt that I love!
Flight Path by Alison Glass
Changing the background from light to dark can be a really dramatic change to the look of your final quilt. This is "Funky Christmas" from my book, Simply Modern Christmas.

Simply Modern Christmas

Tip Two

Change the setting of the blocks in the pattern. This can be an easy and very interesting way to get a new look for a pattern.

This block from "Nutmeg Stars" by Fig Tree Quilts, got a completely new and more modern look by changing not only the colors, but the setting also. In my version on the right, the blocks are set straight with simple white sashing. She got so many requests for this, that Joanna redid the pattern and called it Nutmeg Stars II.
Nutmeg Stars and Nutmeg Stars II
How about adding some simple piecing to the sashing? A simple traditional Dresden Block got an interesting setting by adding a small Nine-Patch in the sashing.

I added some piecing to create stars in the sashing of this quilt that was created from blocks made by my Redbird Bee mates.

Have you ever thought of doing a half-drop of your blocks in alternate rows? It's a super easy change and can be so interesting as you can see in my Squash Blossom quilt!

Tip Three

My third tip is to rotate the blocks. Placing your block on point can make it look totally different!

Garden Lattice from Simply Modern Christmas
In my Six Inch Sampler quilt, I rotated every other block and thought it created a really interesting result...

Tip Four

Remove some of the blocks from the design creating negative space. This is one I'd like to try to use a bit more, but here are 2 examples...

The mini quilt I received from Greenville MQG after serving as president for a year. They took my "Kiss Block" and created a setting with negative space for signatures.

This is a quilt that uses an  "Hour Glass" block, done in all Amy Butler fabric.  I randomly eliminated blocks in the setting...

Tip Five

Change the size of the block! Go big or go mini - changing the size can make the quilt look so different. It's fairly simple math to resize a block and if you need some instructions, do a Google search - there's lots of them. (My tip - always work with the finished size of the block, resize and then add seam allowance)

The Swoon quilt has been one of my favorites! The original is 24" square and I love how different it looks in a smaller size (hard to tell from a picture, but makes a big difference in real life!)...

You can make a mini of your favorite pattern for a totally different quilt. My Garden Lattice quilt in mini (instructions here)...

Tip Six

Make the background of one block a different fabric/color. This is another technique that I need to try more often. My quilt from Elizabeth Hartman's Book "Practical Guide to Patchwork"...

Well, that was fun looking back at how I've made a pattern my own. I'm sure there are more ideas! If you've tried any other ways to change up a pattern, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

I'm linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl for their Tips and Tutorials Festival. Be sure to visit all the other link ups for some great tips!