I’m Going to QuiltCon (I wish!)

Although I won’t be there, a quilt of mine will be and that in itself is exciting!  Also there is a moral to this story, so be sure to read to the end.

I decided to enter a quilt into the Michael Miller Glitz Fabric Challenge for this year’s QuiltCon in Pasadena.   I was a lucky recipient of a pack of 8 fat-eighths of Michael Miller Glitz in black/silver and white/silver.  I have not used metallics in a quilt before, so that in itself was challenging.

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The fabrics above should be the focal point of the point, but other Michael Miller solids were permitted.  Michael Miller prints could be used on the back and/or binding.

After some soul searching I decided to order Mist & Honey as solids for the front.  I love how the warm honey and the cool mist play off each other and has become one of my new favorite color combinations.

And I found a coordinating Michael Miller print for the back that also used the same colors.  Maybe I’m on the only one loving that combination.  I couldn’t tell by the picture that the print I picked for the back had metallic gold accents until it was here.  It was metallic gold, and I had metallic silver for the front.  Hmmm…  Oh, well.  It is what it is.  I decided to roll with it.  The charcoal solid was for the binding.  IMG_2845

You may recall the block I designed earlier in the year for the Cirrus Solids Block Challenge.  This block was very easy to piece  since it is made up of 1″ blocks (finished) and then longer 1″ strips or rectangles to fill in the remainder of the negative space.stuck in the middle

I decided to rework this block to use just two colors (black and white) and to piece the block so that the colors looked they there were woven together.  The center white squares really gave me a headache.  In order to piece complete squares or rectangles to create the block, the center white strip needed to be 3 pieces.  But the ‘woven’ look I was trying to achieve didn’t work with 3 separate pieces there.   It needed to be one piece.  Well, that ended up creating more issues when piecing the rest of the block.  Long story short… it was easier for me to piece the entire block with three 1″ white squares there in the middle, and then when the block was finished, pick out those three 1″ white squares and replace them with a 1″ x 3″ rectangle.  That really surprised me!  Surprised that it was easier to do it that way and pick and resew than it was to sew the block with the correct piece to start with.  But it really was.  And if you don’t understand all that…. let me know and I’ll make another block with pictures and explain it better.

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I made 4 blocks – two with honey and two with mist and then placed them opposite of each other.  I decided not to use the charcoal solid for the binding.  It just didn’t look right.  Instead, I decided to finish the quilt by ‘facing’ the edges.  I LOVE how it looks!  It gave the edges a clean crisp finish.  I will definitely be using this method again!  In fact, I already have with the buck I appliqued here, and I’m getting ready to finish a 3rd wall hanging using this same method.  In fact, I may never traditionally bind another wall hanging.

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I quilted it with a spiral (lines are 3/8″ apart) with my walking foot, except in the very middle.  A spiral is next to impossible to quilt (neatly) in the very center.  So instead I started the spiral a little wider and filled in the center with some parallel lines.

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Last but not least, every quilt entered into the competition needed a story.  Yikes!!  Ummm… a story.  I guess ‘because I liked the way it looked’ wasn’t good enough.  So, I put on my thinking cap…

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This is my story (with limited number of characters)…

Intertwined Lives: I reworked a block I designed earlier this year for the Cirrus Solids BOM challenge. The woven glitz fabrics show how we, individual people, are different colors and have different features, and how our lives intertwine with others over our lifetimes. The lives of the people that we have these relationships with, also intertwine with people we will never meet and never directly have any impact on because we lead parallel lives. However, the circular stitching exposes the bits and pieces of ourselves that get carried from our direct relationships to these parallel relationships. Without our knowledge, bits and pieces of ourselves are deposited into others lives and we never know if these pieces will have a small or a significant impact. Moral of the story: Your life affects more than just the people you know first-hand, so make sure your life is worth sharing.

Quilt measures approx 24″ x 24″.

Oh, and if you happen to be at QuiltCon and see my quilt, please let me know.

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

 

Vintage Rainbow Mosaic

Vintage [vin-tij] adj. 1. Representing the high quality of a past time.  2. Being the best of its kind

What’s that saying about styles of the past coming back?  From my amateur point-of-view, it seems that fashion, home decor, and hair styles run in cycles repeating every couple of decades.  They get revamped and revived, and suddenly old school with a twist becomes chic and stylish ‘new’ school.  Quilting fabric hasn’t been immune, although it’s probably been a somewhat slower process.  We have reproductions for the Victorian, civil war, and depression eras and just about everything in between.  More often than not, these reproduction fabric look very much in color and style like the fabrics of old.  However, sometimes they can look more modern due to the use of modern geometric prints.  Also advances in technology have given us whiter whites and brighter colors which can make a reproduction fabric seem more chic.

Rachel at Stitched in Color is having a mosaic contest where we are to pick our favorite ‘vintage’ rainbow fabrics.  A collaboration of color slightly aged, faded, or dusty.  Maybe even colors that clash.   Think shades of green from 1930s kitchens, Williamsburg blue from the 80s, or the one thing we all hope never comes back in style, avacado green appliances from the 70s.

I made 2 color pallets that most resemble the 30s and the 50s decades.  Intuitively, I really like softer tones with a pop of color, and a dark color or two with a cool base to balance it out.  I love the two pallets that I came up with.  I tried to capture the essence of the vintage rainbow while keeping the prints modern for more trendy charm.

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pallet 1

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pallet 2

As I was building them, I thought they were quite different.  I started out with 6 colors for pallet 1 and 8 colors for pallet 2.  So the differences were more noticeable.  But then I reread the instructions and realized I was supposed to have 9 colors for each.  So, I went back and filled in more colors for each, and now that I see them side-by-side, they are more similar than I thought.  Pallet 2 is a bit softer than pallet 1, but they both have a good balance of light, medium, and dark values.

I really love how the colors are playing together.  I have been loving gold and aqua together and have used it recently in a quilt that I will share soon.  Also, coral has been one of my favorite colors for year.  I love how it plays well with grays and citron.

I had a lot of fun with this challenge, and decided to play around with quilt design on my EQ7 at the same time.  I decided to work with triangles and this is what I came up with for each color pallet.

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pallet 1

Vintage Rainbow quilt

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What do you think?  What colors would you have chosen for this challenge?  Visit Stitch in Color to view the other entries and vote for your favorite.  Maybe you’ll find a collection of color you love and decide to use in your next quilt.

Finish A Long Q1 2016

I’m going to try this again.  I tried it last summer.. I tried several years ago… I set goals and then I get side-tracked.  But I still have so, so many UFOs, so I’m going to join the first quarter finish-a-long hosted by Clover & Violet among others.

The purpose of the Finish-A-Long (FAL) is to make a list of projects that have already been started but not finished and thus are hanging about in your sewing room as UFOs.  And then to finish those UFOs during the quarter and either blog about it or post to Flickr or Instagram.  All eligible entries will be entered to win wonderful prizes which is really all the incentive I need to try to get some of these things finished.

So, here goes…

  • Start and finish quilt for TMQG Spoonflower Challenge (6 Fat-8ths to work with).  I have the fabric, I will be using an original design, I just need to do it.IMG_3292
  • Finish small lone star wall hanging.  The star is pieced.  Need to finish piecing the quilt top and then quilt and bind it.IMG_3291
  • Finish quilt for Quilts of Valor (very old UFO -2003).  The top is done.  Just needs to be quilted and bound.IMG_3290
  • Finish improv quilt.  About 1/3 – 1/2 done with top.IMG_3288
  • Handquilting this panel for guild charityIMG_3289
  • Another quilt for guild charity.  They provide the fabric, batting, and pattern.  I provide the labor.IMG_3293
  • Cowboy quilt — fabric shown and will be using an original pattern.  This one is going to be super cute even though it has brown (I very much dislike brown in quilts, but it fits here).  IMG_3294
  • Last but not least, make a prairie bonnet for my mom.  She has requested one.  This is the fabric I have picked out.IMG_3295

Many of these UFOs are not my style which is why they have sat for so long.  I always find more interesting projects to do instead.  But I really should just bite the bullet and finish them so I can stop thinking about them.

The improv quilt is my favorite and what I really would like to work on.  But it’s also the most recent, so I’m still really excited about it and how it’s coming together.  Maybe I’ll start with the oldest first and work my way to the more recent.

Wish me luck!

Linking up with Clover & Violet for Finish Along Goals Q1. #2016FAL

 

Raw Edge Applique Tutorial

I just finished another raw edge applique project that I just love.  For the local MQG chapter we were challenged to use the Allison Glass Ex Libris butterfly motif in charcoal or white.  I decided to use the charcoal colorway.  Each circle in the panel is approximately 10″ in diameter.

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I’ve been wanting to make a silhouette of a deer for a quite a while now and I thought this would be a good project for this fabric.  I had to do some piecing, but not much.  So other than the quilting, it was a quick project.  I just love how it turned out.

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Thought I would share with you how I made this and the Anchored with Love pillow since the technique is the same.

You will need the following items:

  • Double-sided fusible web, paper backed on each side (I used Lite Steam-a-Seam2)
  • Quilt top
  • Fabric scraps
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pattern of applique piece
  • Pencil or pen

Trace pattern onto paper on one side of fusible web.

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Cut out image leaving approximately 1/4″ all the way around.

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Peel off the paper from the other side of the fusible web that does not have the traced image.

Please your fabric scraps on the exposed fusible web where wanted.  Lite Steam-A-Seam2 is sticky, so it holds your fabric scraps while you work on placement, and it can repositioned as needed.  Just make sure the fabric covers all traced lines.  Once you are satisfied with where all fabric scraps are placed, press with hot iron to make permanent.  (Note that the other side of the fusible web is still backed with paper to keep it from sticking to anything else.)

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Turn the applique image over and cut along the traced image to clean up the edges.

 

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I have trimmed on all traced lines and have just the one antler left

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close up

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close up of head shows several fabric pieces

Peel paper off applique image and position where wanted onto quilt top and press with hot iron.

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Once ironed onto fabric, the fusible web should be permanent (per the instructional sheet that comes with the fusible web product).  However, it’s always a good idea to put some sort of quilting over it just to make sure.

When I made the anchor pillow, I decided not to quilt it.  So, instead I zigzag’d along all edges of the fabric pieces.   This was probably a good decision for this project because I accidentally forgot to leave 1/4″ all the way around the fusible web before I placed the fabric scraps, so the edges are a bit more frayed than they would be otherwise.

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Or you can do an all over quilt design making sure to ‘catch’ the applique as part of the quilting like I did here.

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Or simply stitch 1/8″-1/4″ from edge of each applique piece.

Ta da, you’re done.  It really is super easy.  I hope you’ll give it a try and make something you love.

Deer measures approximately 9 1/4″ by 18 1/2″.  Finished project measures 17″ x 21 1/2″.  My plan is to hang this in my new mountain home.

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

 

 

 

Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge Winner

I keep forgetting to share this news with you, so it’s a bit old.  First I had to wait for it to be announced by Cloud9; and then when it finally was announced, I didn’t have time to write a blog post because we were so busy trying to finish our house, pack, and move.  But. here it is… I am the May WINNER for the Cloud9 Fabrics Cirrus Solids BOM Challenge.   YIPPEE!!!!

If you haven’t heard, Cloud9 Fabrics is coming out with a new line of yarn-dyed solids in September.  In anticipation of the release, Cloud9 is hosting a BOM challenge in which they are asking quilters to design and submit blocks (including instructions) using 4-6 of the new solids.  I started designing a block last October and had it about 85% finished, but with work and other things I wasn’t able to get it finished and submitted.  And then… the January winner was announced and the block I had designed was so very similar.  Oh no!  I just couldn’t believe it!

So in February I started over from scratch.  More ideas…. more drawings… more blocks designed in EQ7.  Playing around with layouts of the blocks, and trying to figure out which one idea I would settle on and submit.  I finally made a decision and had the instructions written and submitted by the end of February.  And 4 short weeks later, I received an email stating my block below, which I call “Stuck in the Middle”, was selected for the May BOM.  🙂

stuck in the middle

Several weeks later I received my winnings — a fat quarter pack of all the solids — and I have the say the fabric is amazing!  They are soft, have a nice drape, and the colors are bold and saturated.  I am looking forward to sewing with them… once I figure out what I’m going to make.

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You can find the directions and layout for my winning block here, and all winning BOMs can be found here.

Some alternate layouts are below:

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

A Quest for Adventure

I don’t even know how long it’s been since my last blog posting. We’ve been busy doing a lot of work around the house, but I’ll tell you about that another time.

I really like challenges. I tend to do some of my more creative work when I have been presented with a challenge. And so it was another challenge, this time from the Modern Quilt Guild and Michael Miller, and a quest for adventure that sent me down the path of designing and creating this quilt.

Here are the Michael Miller fabrics I started with.  At first I thought I would make a wall hanging with modern flowers similar to the fabric there on top.  Then I decided that idea was very ‘un-creative’ and, although it would be beautiful hanging in my house, it just wasn’t good enough for a challenge.

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So, onto other, more adventurous ideas…

Then I started thinking about the shapes that are used in quilts.  There are quilts made of squares, rectangles, circles, triangles, hexagons, and octogons. There are quilts made of strips, scraps, and generally wonky pieces. But I don’t remember ever seeing a quilt made with pentagons. Oh, there are quilts where the center of a square is a pentagon, but then the pentagon is squared up and you’re sewing squares together. And I think maybe I’ve seen English paper piecing pentagons, but those are like 2″ in size. I wanted to do pentagons on a larger scale. Then I found a picture of a pentagon bookcase and the idea for this quilt was born.

On the top half of the quilt, the colored blocks and pieces are supposed to look as if they were sitting on a shelf of the bookcase.  So the blocks are stacked, the books are laying at an angle, and the flower arrangement is lying on an angled shelf but not at the very edge.

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I made these blocks and a few others and they sat on my design wall for about 6 weeks while I just stared at them.  As I stared, I thought that an entire quilt made like this might be boring.  You can only have so many books on a shelf before the eye gets bored and you’re ready to move on to other things.  So I designed the small wonky diamonds that would be small bursts of color on the right side, and stared some more.

 

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I wasn’t sure what to do with the rest of the quilt.  As the deadline for the challenge drew closer and closer (it is today by the way), I decided that I likely wasn’t going to make it.  Then this past Sunday night around 9pm, in a burst of creativity, I decided I was going to finish the quilt in time for the challege.  I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the rest of the quilt, but I decided I could figure it out as I went along.  I was up ’till 2am that night, cutting and measuring, designing and sewing, and by the time I went to bed I knew how I was going to finish the top.  I took a half-day off work on Monday on finish the top and put the sandwiches together, and then spent the last several nights quilting and binding.  And voila, after a stare down contest and lots of freezer paper, it’s done and just in time to be submitted before the deadline.

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What I learned in the process… there is good reason no one uses pentagons in a quilt.  Hahaha!  The horizontal pentagons are a different size than the vertical pentagons, otherwise they wouldn’t sandwich together properly.  And then sewing them together requires Y-seams at strange angles, which is not exactly easy.  And then what do you do with the edges?  As you can see, I chose to leave mine as angles and have a zig-zag type quilt rather than a rectangular quilt.  Which created a whole different problem… how do you bind inside corners?  Thanks to you tube I figured it out!

I really like how the quilt turned out.  It is risky.  It’s definitely not your run of the mill quilt.  But I learned a lot and it was a huge step in boosting my creativity, so I think it was a good project in the long run.

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

Radiant Orchid

Hello friends.  It certainly has been a while.  Between working at work or working on the house, my sewing machine sat untouched for a month or more.  We were both getting quite lonely.  So I took the week off from working on the house and made a challenge quilt for the 2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge.  Entries are due today, so this morning found me restitching a small area and clipping the last few strings.  Again… I squeaked in just before the deadline.

This year’s challenge color for the Pantone challenge is Radiant Orchid.  The entry must contain at least a small amount of Radiant Orchid fabric — although any winning quilts will certainly feature the orchid color.  My quilt features the radiant orchid color along with a somewhat darker purple color, with yellow as an accent.  And it’s all solids!  I do believe this might be my first all solid quilt.

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I started designing this pattern last summer before I knew anything about the Pantone challenge, but I thought it would fit the challenge perfectly.  It went through several revisions until last week when I finally decided that this pattern is the one I would go with.  It was slightly tricky trying to figure out how to piece since the star points were ending up in the middle of a curve for the window.  I finally decided to use a combination paper piecing/peeled-back patchwork method.  I don’t know if it’s a real method for quilting — I just made it up since it seemed to be the only way to put the thing together.  And I ended up having to break it down even further and make 4 blocks for each block that I designed.  And then half-way through, I redesigned one of the blocks because I didn’t like the way the seams looked with the other blocks.  I still have points that are very thick — I think it provides dimension!

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It measures 25-1/4″ square — each block is 2-1/2 includes and the border added a little bit — so it makes a nice wall hanging.  I think I’ll hang it in the spare bedroom over the dresser.

I also designed the quilting for each of the blocks and it ended up taking just just as long to do as the piecing.  And the thick seams were challenging to quilt through without having the foot get stuck on them.  But it’s done and I really like how it turned out.  I’ll probably never make another one though…  ha ha ha.

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Be sure to check out the other entries for the challenge.  We have some very talented quilters.

Linking up with Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.