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

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.

 

 

 

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.
 

Wonky Star

A couple of months ago, March I think it was,  I took a class at Spoonflower with Nicole at Mama Love Quilts    Nicole makes beautiful quilts, so not only was it an opportunity to possibly learn something new from a great quilt maker, but I was intrigued by the sample quilt.  Here is her quilt.
8568723788_18519fb6fbAlso, if you’ve not heard of Spoonflower, check out my post here.

None of the seams for the stars lined up so I was very interested in how this pattern was written.  And the class was free, so I really had nothing to lose.  Imagine my surprise when I found out that it used improv piecing and wasn’t a pattern in the typical sense.  I have never really done any improv piecing, but it didn’t take me long to get the hang of it.  And it was quite fun and freeing.  There are no rules, and no pattern — in fact, the wonkier, the better.

I decided to use scraps rather than cut up some of my stash, so I pulled out all my bright scraps from past projects.  I also decided to make my quilt large enough to be a baby quilt.  What’s really exciting about this quilt is that I have fabric from at least 8 other projects represented here.    I still need to bind it, but that should be done later tonight.

DSC_0278I used scraps for the back.

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Also, one of my goals this year was to practice my free motion quilting and get somewhat better at it.  So I used 4 different free motion quilting techniques on this quilt.  By the time I got done with the quilt, I was certainly better at the FMQ patterns I had decided to do.

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DSC_0285DSC_0286Now to start the binding.  Have a blessed weekend!

Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

 

 

 

 

Losing My Marbles

Well, this past week has been pretty bad for work. I’m working lots of hours; but it is tax season, so I guess it comes with the territory.  In fact, in the last 3 weeks, I’ve had just one day off.  If they were normal 8-hour working days, it might not be so bad.  But these have been 10-14 hour working days.  And I think I’m about to lose it – my marbles, that is!  So therefore, I think tomorrow will have to be another day off for ‘my sanity’.

Due to my crazy work schedule lately, I really haven’t had much time to sew.  I did finish up a baby blanket I was crocheting for a co-worker.  She is due in just 4-days so it really had to be done.  I forgot to take a picture of it though, so I guess I can’t show it to you.

However, I will share with you a project I designed and completed before things got crazy at work.  I am working on a pattern for a quilt and I wanted to make a few test squares.  They turned out really nice so I decided to turn them into a pillow.  I had it designed and made in part of a weekend, so I was very thrilled with how quick it all went together.  The flowers inside each circle are machine embroidered.

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I also decided to practice some free motion quilting.  This is an area I really need to work on, but I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out.

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Today a Savior has been Born to You

I recently finished my 3rd UFO for this year —  a beautiful, embroidered wall hanging of the birth of Jesus.  This is actually the 3rd of these I made this past year.  I also made one for my parents, and one for my in-laws.  Each of theirs was done before this past Christmas.  This one is for me, and so it had to wait until I had time to finish it.  I just love this wall hanging and love how it turned out.  It is absolutely beautiful!  Like our parents, I may be hanging this design year-round.  The picture doesn’t hardly do it justice.  It doesn’t do a very good job showing the sheen of the rayon or metallic thread, or the small details in the clothing, animals, or the stable.

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This design is by Anita Goodesign.  It was quite hard to get several of the designs to stitch without pulling quite bad, but lots of stabilizer is the key.  About half the blocks are very dense and full of stitches.  There are 45 thread colors, include metallic gold, silver, and bronze, and 8 different batik fabrics.  It took about 50-hours total to embroider the blocks and then another 20 or so to put it all together.  It measures 25″ x 29″.

And call me crazy.  I might just do another one or two and sell them.  They really are beautiful and I know several others might like to have this beautiful nativity hanging in their house as well.