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

Love Birds Baby Quilt

Happy Friday!  Today I want to share with you a sweet baby quilt that I made as a gift for my BFF’s new grandbaby.  Our kids grew up together, and so her kids I treat as my own and vice versa.  It really is great to have such a special friend, and so OUR new grandbaby needed something special.

Just like the red fox quilt, this quilt also centered around a yard of fabric that I found and just had to have.  This fabric is by Deena Designs for Free Spirit.  Aren’t these cute little love birds just adorable?

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And then I just couldn’t bear to cut the fabric up.   I did manage to cut a 3-1/2 strip off of it for use on the front, to pull the front and the back of the quilt together, but the rest became a large block on the back of the quilt.

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I raided my stash for coordinating pink, green, and blue tone on tone fabrics.   I love this combination of pink and green and have used it before for other quilts.  First for a Mexican Rose quilt (pictured below).  This was the first quilt pattern I designed and it is still for sale on Etsy.  And then for a quilt that I made for my cousin’s baby (couldn’t find a picture of that quilt).

Mexican Rose

Mexican Rose

For this new baby quilt however, I needed to mix in some blues and brighter pink in with the green to match the love birds fabric.  Alternating 9″ blocks created a simple, modern baby quilt.  I just love how it turned out!

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The quilt finishes at 45″ square.  I quilted a simple curved design along all 4 edges of each square using a half-circle of cardboard as a template.

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And even though the quilt itself was finished when she was only a week old, I didn’t ship it off because I wanted to add a quilt label to it.  I have been trying to be more consistent with adding quilt labels to all quilts that I make.  But it is certainly a last minute thought, and not something I have already designed.  I am ashamed to say that I finally had the label made, attached to the quilt, and the quilt delivered when she turned 6 months old.  I need to automate this part of quilt making somehow.  5-1/2 months to make and attach a quilt label is quite ridiculous.  I did have a lot of other things going on though, so I’ll give myself a break.

baby quilt for Julie

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

Madrona Road Challenge – How Ideas are Born

This past February I joined the Triangle MQG and decided to participate in my first challenge with the group.  We were given seven fat eighths of fabric from the Madrona Road line by Violet Craft for Michael Miller fabrics.

2013-05-13Our challenge was to make something, anything really, from these 7 fat eights.  And the only real rule was that you could only add other solids.  No other prints were allowed.  To make this even more challenging, I didn’t particularly care for this fabric.  I liked the black with the writing, and the blue with the lighter blue criss-cross lines (I think it’s called haystack).  But overall, the rest of the fabric is definitely not something I would have picked out.  But it was free and I just couldn’t pass up free fabric or the challenge — I really do like to be challenged.  The unveiling was planned for the May meeting — just 3 months away.

Oh, what should I make?  When I first got the fabric I was working a lot and didn’t have much time to think about it, but it was still in the back of my mind.  A month later, I still didn’t have a clue.  I thought I might want to turn it into a full size lap quilt, but seven fat eighths didn’t leave me much to work with.  But work was slowing down just a bit, so I had a little time to play around.

I played with squares…

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I played with circles…  I even colored the circles to match the fabric hoping that would help.

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Did I want to make a stuffed toy?  Did I want to make a skirt, or a bag, or a _____ (file in the blank)?

But, nothing seemed to be ‘just right’.  So, I put it aside for another couple of weeks while I got through the next deadline for work, and while I waited for the fabric to ‘talk’ to me.  Maybe if I listened hard enough, it would tell me what it wanted to be.  So I would look at it and think about it, and look at it and think about it…  This went on for a couple of weeks before I figured out what it wanted to be…

This blue haystack I decided wanted to be an elephant.

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Cool, I could do an elephant on a baby quilt.  I like baby quilts.  I can be just as creative as I want to be, they don’t take too much time to make or quilt, and they make great baby gifts. But how do I fit the other fabrics into this?  I could make an elephant parade, or elephants stacked on top of each other, or I could simply make just one elephant and use the other fabrics as a border.  Or… the one elephant could be holding something in his trunk.  Yes, that’s it!  And the idea for my challenge quilt was born.  It was designed, appliqued, quilted, and bound in about a week, and weeks before the unveiling at the meeting yesterday.

Meet Elijah Elephant.  (He’s a nice elephant, so we can give him a nice strong Bible name.)

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This is the back.

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I also free motion quilted smaller elephants onto the background.

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I’m very pleased with how he turned out.  If I had planned to make an elephant from the very beginning, I don’t think it would have been as good.  I think my brain needed to go through the process of figuring out the personality of the fabric.

And that’s how ideas are born… many weeks and months of planning, thinking, designing, and thinking some more.  Then the idea is finally formed and the plan implemented, usually in a much quicker manner than what it took to come up with the idea to start with.

Linking up with Plum & June Blossom Art Quilts for Let’s Get Acquainted. (Hope I”m doing this right)

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