Flaming Star

If you follow me on Instagram (@monkeyneedle), you may recall last summer and early fall when I was working on a ‘secret’ project.  Well, I am so EXCITED that I FINALLY get to share it with you. I HAVE JUST BEEN PUBLISHED IN A MAJOR QUILTING MAGAZINE!  My quilt is in the March/April issue of Quiltmaker magazine by Fons and Porter.  EEEEEKK!!!

Introducing FLAMING STAR.

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It is amazing how long it takes to get through all the steps: design, submission, acceptance, making the quilt, quilting the quilt, mailing it to the magazine so they can take pictures, write the article, and then make it part of an upcoming issue.  Whew!

I designed this quilt about 15 months ago.  It took me about 3 months to get up the nerve to submit the quilt design to a publishing company.  And then it took about 6 months for them to say they wanted to use it.  Things moved faster after that.  I spent about 6 weeks piecing the quilt, and then sent it off to the quilter who had it about 4 weeks before she was able to get to it.  Then in the mail it went, and about 3 months later it was returned to me.

THE FABULOUS LONG-ARM QUILTING on this quilt is by Andrea Walker at Walker Quilt Co.  Her work is just AMAZING!!  Go check her out.

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I really wish I could have taken a few more pictures.  We had a snow storm moving in and it was extremely windy.  Right after I snapped the picture below, the wind ripped the quilt from the XL binder clips holding it and it went flying through the air.  I caught it on my head.  It was quite funny!  Getting it clipped up in another location for more pictures was also not working.  So, maybe another day.

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It’s all about color placement!  The quilt is designed using just two simple blocks.  Each block is 14″ square. It looks more complicated than it really is.  The color placement gives it the striking look.  I’m usually not big on borders, but in this case I added a 3 1/2″ border (1/4 the block size) and carried the design into the border in certain areas.  I then faced the quilt, rather than binding it.  I have been doing that for many of my quilts lately if I don’t want a ‘frame’ around the finished look of the quilt.

Pick up a copy of the magazine at your local stores today.  My quilt got a small inset on the front cover (top right corner), the full quilt just inside the front cover, and a whole layout with directions on how to make you own version on pages 30-35.

Fabrics: All Kona Cotton Solids in white, shadow, steel, Jamaica,  Bahama blue, robin egg, baby blue, and coral.

Measures: 77″ x 77″.

Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and  Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts

From Design to Reality

I am part of Facebook group called Quilt Design a Day.  The goal is to design one quilt each day based on the prompt for that day.  I haven’t yet found the time to participate on a daily basis, but I do participate here and there.  One of the prompts last year was the following picture.  We were to design a quilt and then make the quilt for possible acceptance into a special exhibit at QuiltCon in Savannah next month

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Photo credit: Michelle Wilke                         @ Factotum of Arts

I started playing around with the different lines.  I design in EQ7 and love how flexible the program is.  I can design multiple variations of the same quilt and save the block and the quilt to go back and look at later.  Originally I decided to play with the black and white angles, and maybe a little bit of the windows.  Here are 3 quilt possibilities that I started with.

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Then I decided that I wanted to play with the windows a bit more and came up with this.

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But that felt too heavy to me.  The windows were just too block-y.  What if I turned them on-point?  I turned them, played around with them a bit, and came up with this.

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I like it, but it’s still not quite right.  What if I elongate it?

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YES!!!  I LOVE IT!

Then I had to make it…  Of course, it took longer than I thought it would.  Of course, it was a headache in many ways.  The angles were quilt difficult to line up.  I made a smaller version than I really wanted because I started it just 2 weeks before it was due and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to make a large quilt in that time period given that I also work full-time.

And… I didn’t finish it!  If I had had one more day, I could have finished.  But I didn’t.  Oh well.  At least I finished and it didn’t join the long-term UFO pile.  And any finish is reason to celebrate.

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I wanted to do some special quilting on it.  Sometimes I like a bit of design in the quilting rather than just a straight line or an all-over meander.  This is probably the reason I didn’t finish the quilt by the deadline, but I love the way it looks.

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Here is the back.

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Measures: 34″ x 47″

Fabrics: Kona Cotton Mediterranean, Kona Cotton Prussian, Kona Cotton Carrot, Kona Cotton Snow, and Kona Cotton Shale.

Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Carolina Lily

Our challenge this week for Project Quilting was the Carolina Lily.  The Carolina Lily is the official wildflower of North Carolina, and since I am 100% North Carolinian this challenge was perfect for me to make something representative of the state I was born, raised, and currently reside in.

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I made another refrigerator quilt to go with the others I shared with you earlier this month.  It measures 12″ square, and I decided to machine bind it to save some time.

I used batiks for this small quilt.  And I added a Ruby-Throated hummingbird that is also native to North Carolina.  I love the bright colors and the details.

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Linking up with Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Project Quilting Season 8 at Persimon Dreams.  Check out the more than 100 quilted items made this past week and vote NOW for your favorites at Persimon Dreams.

Finish-A-Long Q1 2017 Goals

Here I am setting my goals for the first quarter Finish-A-Long.  I did this last year and actually finished 6 of the 8 items that were on my list.  I would call that a SUCCESS!

It’s a great example of how making your goals SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, & trackable) makes them more easily reached.  When you write your goals down, and if you can attach a picture to it, it’s more likely that you’ll actually meet that goal.

So, to keep me focused, here goes…

Finish improv quilt.  About 1/3 – 1/2 done with piecing top.

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This quilt top needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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Mexican Stars quilt top

Finish binding this quilt

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This quilt top needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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This table runner needs a back, to be quilted, and then bound:

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These blocks need to be joined into a quilt top, then backed, sandwiched, quilted and bound.

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Finish quilting and then bind these Fall placemats

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Finish Hoopsisters Mystery 201? quilt.  About 12 blocks done.  Need to finish all blocks, then put together, and bind.

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I have 80+ of these blocks that need to be turned into a quilt.

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And my oldest UFO… finish hand quilting this King size monster.  And the fact this it is ‘hand quilted’ is why it isn’t finished.  LOL

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Wow!  This list is a bit overwhelming.  These are not all my UFO’s, but they are the ones I could easily put my hands on.  And it’s ok if I don’t finish them all.  But at least they are now on my radar.  They are written down, and now I am more likely to finish them.

Of course there are other items on my list.  I have several bee blocks to do. I’m still working on Splendid Sampler blocks.  I am working on designing several block and quilts.  And I’m studying for my real estate license and it’s tax season.  So, no I’m definitely not going to get all this done.  But if I can mark at least 2 items off, I’ll feel good about it.

By the way, the reason I’m aiming for 2 finishes instead of 1 is because I have one that is almost done.  I just need to finish the binding and that shouldn’t take more than an hour or so. So hopefully I can finish another in addition to that one. Is that cheating?  Definitely not!  And maybe I’ll surprise myself and finish more.

So what are your goals?  Write them down.  Make them SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, & trackable) and let’s see how much you can achieve!

Linking up with Rhonda’s Ramblings.

 

Square Pegs Quilt

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile you know that I make a couple of quilts for charity each year.  I just finished a quilt for a group that I am part of called do. Good Stitches which is organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color.  There are several groups and each group is made up of 10-12 quilters that stitch blocks and/or assemble and finish the quilt.  I am a quilter at this time which means that I am also responsible for coming up with the design and colors for that month.

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For my month, I decided to use the Square Pegs pattern available at Moda Bake Shop.  I asked the stitchers in my group to use their scraps and make blocks in melon colors.  Think watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew.  And boy did they deliver.  It’s so bright and fun.  And will be a great quilt for the women that benefit from the makeovers done by Enchanted Makeovers, the charity it is going to.

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I quilted it with organic stacked half-moon shapes.  The blocks are 13″ square.  And because I asked our stitchers to make it scrappy, I had to refigure the instructions for assembly, but it was an easy pattern to figure out.

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It snowed this past weekend and the snow made the perfect background for this bright quilt.  It was 8 degrees when we were outside taking the pictures.  Just a little cold so I didn’t take many pictures, but thankfully I didn’t need to.  Today, 5 days later, it’s 70 degrees.  Gotta love NC weather!

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Refrigerator Quilts

Happy New Year!

Last June at one of our modern quilt guild meetings, one of our members shared her ‘refrigerator quilts’.  She was making one small quilt a week (around 12″ square) to hang on her refrigerator.  Since small quilts take less time, it’s easy to try a variety of techniques without being fully committed with a large quilt.

Our challenge that month was to make a refrigerator quilt, so made this cute butterfly and sunflower quilt out of my fabric scraps.  It is all applique and measures 9-1/2 x 12-1/2.

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It’s hung on my refrigerator since then.  But now it’s winter and I need something on the refrigerator that matches the season better.

Enter Project Quilting Season 8.  Hosted by Persimon Dreams, Project Quilting starts January 1st each year and is a total of 6 challenges every other week based on the theme for that week.  This weeks theme is “Eight is Great”.  The challenge is to create a project that has something to do with the number “8”.  I thought this challenge series would be a great opportunity to make more refrigerator quilts.

For this first challenge, I decided to make 8-pointed snowflakes.  Just in time too, for the big snowstorm we got last night.img_5589

I tried a new technique.  I used a Fiskars craft knife to cut out the fine details of the snowflakes.  It was a bit tedious, and the tip of the blade was dull after just one snowflake, but I love how lacy they are.  (I layered a printout of the snowflake, Lite Steam-a-Seam 2, and the fabric, and then cut on top of a self-healing mat)

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I free motion quilted all over, and then add hand embroidered ‘wind’ swirls.  It finishes at 11″ square.

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The front fabrics are all Cirrus Solids by Cloud 9 fabrics.  Part of the fat quarter pack I won almost two years ago here.  The quilting is done in Aurifil clear poly thread.

The back is an Art Gallery print that just matched it perfectly.  I hate using such nice fabric for the back of anything, but it matched so perfectly I just had to.

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This was super fun!  I can’t wait to see what the next challenge will be.

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Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Project Quilting Season 8 at Persimon Dreams.

 

Triple Sawtooth Star

Since May I have been a member of a charity quilting bee called do. Good Stitches.  do. Good Stitches was organized by Rachel at Stitched in Color and is a large charity quilting bee with many groups all over the world.  My group is called Aspire and our quilts are donated to Enchanted Makeovers which uses the quilts in their makeovers of women’s and children’s shelters.

For October, our quilter requested that we make 16″ Triple Sawtooth Star blocks using purple, green, orange-red, orange, and golden yellow.  So I headed to my scrap bin and pulled some fabrics.  I just love this color combo.  It’s so rich and warm.

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When I cut out the pieces needed for each block, I realized that my purple pieces weren’t big enough so I had to pull a different purple.

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First you make the inside star.  These two blocks are an adorable 4″ each.

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Then you use the 4″ star as the center of the 8″ star.  I ended up having to go a bit scrappy and use multiple fabrics in the green and orange colorways. Rather than cut into a new fat quarter or half-yard cut of fabric, I was trying to use up the scraps that I had.

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Then you use the 8″ star as the center of the 16″ star.

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I’m loving orange right now in my quilting, but I really think I might like the green and purple star better here.  I think I would like the yellow/orange star more if the yellow was a bit more vibrant.  It seems overwhelmed by the orange.  But I think once it is combined with 20 other blocks in the quilt, it will fit in quite nicely.

These are blocks I made in July for that month’s quilt.  I didn’t have as many blue, aqua, turquoise solids as I thought I did, so I broke open the fat quarter pack of Cirrus solids that I had won last year.  You can read about it here.  They were wonderful to work with and were easy to cut and sew without fraying.  I definitely need to use the rest of the fat quarters in a project one day soon.july-2016-block

I find I have less time for sewing than I would like, so I’m glad to get some quilt blocks finished.   I can’t wait to see these quilts finished.

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts and  Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.