Friday, October 12, 2018

Falling for Eastham

Another quick finish I found buried in my WIP pile...  Before I tackle a major project I like to make a proof of concept just to be sure everything is going to work out correctly.  Even though I'd already made a Dresden quilt I was really nervous about screwing up my memory tie quilts so I made this wall hanging as a practice run.

Somewhere along the way I'd picked up a Denyse Schmidt Eastham layer cake which was the perfect size for making these Dresden wedges and meant I didn't have to waste time with a fabric pull.  I bought this 15 ° ruler and cut my wedges to use the full 10".

Do you ever run out of things to say about quilting?  I'm not really sure what else there is to share about this one...  I kept sewing wedges together into bigger components until I had a full plate.

I made my quilt sandwich and quilted the plate in place.

From there I tested quilting radiating lines thru each wedge.  It gets a bit thick in the middle but I like the effect.  Since this was really only meant as a test I decided to use some of the solids from the layercake for the background as well.  Of course there were only 2 of any color so I got creative and went with this two-tone background.  I think it makes the quilt much more dynamic but getting the opposing quarter circle wedges to line up in the center at the end was definitely a challenge.

This was another one I found just waiting to be bound.  I was on a roll and whipped together a binding, slapped it on, and hung out with the kids for a rainy day movie marathon to finish it up.

Now isn't that a perfect wall hanging for fall?

Sharing my fall spirit at this week's Brag About Your Beauties Pageant by Michelle at From Bolt to Beauty.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 24" x 24"
Pattern: Dresden plate using Creative Grids 15° ruler.
Fabrics: Eastham by Denyse Schmidt FSDS Slate and Mist.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Ermine (2312).

Wednesday, September 19, 2018


alidiza: Spoolish
So after finally finishing up my tie quilts my first instinct was to start something new but with Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival going on I decided to clean up my studio and see if there were any easy finishes lingering in my WIP pile.  This Spoolish quilt was practically begging to be completed!

I started this at the Boston MQG's annual retreat for our HST challenge.  As soon as I saw Craft South's Liberty Spoolish I knew what I was going to make.   I really should know by now that I'm not at my best early in the morning and when working outside of my own studio.  My cutting was just a bit off and some of the resulting blocks are wonky.  Since I'd dipped into my precious stash of Tana Lawns I'd collected from the Westwood Acres Liberty Club I decided to live with it and pressed on.  

I was still riding the creative high when I got back from retreat and immediately got down to quilting...  why do I always think dense quilting is a good idea?

Probably because I love the texture it adds...  I powered thru and finished up the quilting.  

alidiza: Spoolish
All that was left to do was slap on the binding (already made) and tack it down, my most favorite part of the process but somehow it just never happened.  Better late than never, a couple of episodes of Dark Matter and this was done.  I even got fancy and went outside for some nature shots before it started raining;-)  I think this one gives the truest representation of the colors.

A huge thank you to Amy's Creative Side for hosting another Bloggers Quilt Festival. Be sure to stop by and visit all the amazing quilts!

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 34" x 34"
Pattern:  Spoolish by Denyse Schmidt.
Fabrics: Assorted Tana Lawns from the Westwood Acres Liberty Club, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Smokey.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Grey Blue (1248).

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Ties that Bind

My dear friend lost her husband to cancer and after I made memory T-shirt quilts for her daughters she asked if I could also make quilts for her and her mother-in-law with his ties.  As if she could stop me;-)

I started with this pile of ties which I first had to disassemble and then interface.  Since I needed to get 2 quilts worth of fabric out of these I spent a lot of time planning everything out before I started cutting.

For the first quilt I decided to go with a fairly traditional tie quilt pattern and made a giant Dresdan plate.  I should have added some objects to the photo for scale but this Dresdan is 40" across. Since I had 30 ties to work with I bought a fancy new 15° ruler to cut the large wedges but after that it was pretty much the same process as my (still unfinished) Blue Plate Special.

To keep the focus on the ties I kept the quilting simple.  Once I'd quilted down the edges I used a hera marker to mark lines radiating thru the center of each wedge out to the edge.  I used a shirting fabric for the background and combined with the different weight silks it was a bit challenging to quilt but I love the finished effect.

The second quilt was inspired by a quilt by my insanely creative friend @RebeccaLorenQuilts.

For this one I made fan sections with the wedges and then glued them down to the Essex Linen blocks.  The biggest challenge was adding the quarter circle wedges.  I made circles with linen and interfacing then cut them into quarters and fused them on to the blocks before piecing them together.

I used navy Essex linen on the back, reminiscent of a blue blazer, and the binding was made from one of John's dress shirts.  It was such a honor to make these quilts but I'm really hoping I don't have the occasion to make any more for a long, long time.

My friend Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty is hosting a Brag About Your Beauties linky party and giveaway so hop over there and check out her amazing collection of projects! 

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Labor of Love

Since Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer I thought this was a good time to catch up on my La Passacaglia progress.  I've spent very little time in my studio the last few months but summer is always a great time for handwork.  My La Pass has kept me company...

On the plane.

By the pool.

At the beach.

At another beach.

On the lake.

And during our back to school staff meeting (Shhh, don't tell!)

And after all that I only have 3 rosettes left to make for the bottom right corner.  Of course then I'll have to sew them all together...  and quilt it but it's a labor of love and I'm in no hurry to be done.

Did you have a productive sewing summer?

Friday, March 23, 2018

Go Sew

I always seem to lose my sewjo in the beginning of the year but the one thing that never fails to get it back is the annual BostonMQG retreat.  I am continually inspired by this insanely creative group of women!

My first priority was to make the Dresden Plate centers for the quilt I started on retreat in 2015.  Sewing white on white circles is definitely an activity best performed while fresh and sober.  Before dinner I was able to get all of these made and the binding for this quilt done.  I've finished hand quilting around the plates so I can almost see the finish line for this one.

Poor planning on my part, I usually like to bring a mix of different things to work on but this was the year of the HST.  3 different projects made using 3 different techniques.  I'm using the rest of these china blue fabrics and white linen to make broken dishes blocks.  This 8 at a time method for making HSTs is perfect for these blocks.

Saturday under threat of being shunned I made an ocean waves block for our latest charity quilt.  I am now addicted to Eva Paige's genius technique for accordion sewn scrappy HSTs.  Seriously, this will change your life!!!

With my social status in the guild ensured I moved onto another project...  the guild HST challenge.  I finally broke into my long hoarded stack of Tana Lawns I've amassed with the help of Westwood Acres Liberty Club.  Paired with a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton this top is as light as a feather.

Before retreat was done I was able to finish this Spoolish flimsy.  Now to get it basted and quilted.

Sometime's the hardest part of getting started is just deciding what to do but with so many projects almost at the finish line I'm excited to get back to my studio and finish these up.

Off to sew with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Hopping in to Spring

I've really been struggling this year to find my sewing mojo.  This seems to be a recurring problem so I took my own advice and cleaned up my studio, hung out with my quilt peeps and checked the calendar.  In the process I found a stack of luscious Liberty fabrics, realized Easter is just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and drooled over Rebecca's amazing Down the Rabbit Hole (which is even more amazing in person!!!) until inspiration struck.

This is really just a rip-off of my Reindeer pillow.  I found a bunny coloring page I liked on Google and printed it on a wash-away applique sheet which I then fused to the wrong side of my liberty fabric.

I used Aurifil 12wt for my top thread and 50wt in the bobbin to buttonhole stitch around the bunny.  I love the bold look of the heavier weight thread and it almost looks hand sewn...  as if my stitches would ever be so perfect;-)

I also used the Aurifil 12wt to make a little pom pom tail.  I used an extra long piece to tie the center and then just punched that through my pillow and knotted it on the back to hold the pom pom in place.  It's certainly not as fluffy as a wool one would be since the cotton doesn't bloom but it matched perfectly and works for me.

Luckily I finished this up before Quinn buried us in snow and knocked out our power.  Nothing fires up your Sewjo like NOT being able to sew.  Dreaming of spring with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 18" x 18"
Fabrics: Liberty of London from stash.  ChambrayYarn Dyed Essex Linen by Robert Kaufman.
Thread: Aurifil in Peachy Pink (2435) 12wt for top thread, 50wt in bobbin.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Olympic Sewing

There hasn't been much sewing going on here lately but that all changed the minute the opening ceremonies launched.  I am a total Olympic junkie but of course I can just sit and watch TV without something to work on.  I kicked things off with this Dresden Plate quilt.

The great thing about big stitch quilting is it goes so fast!  By the time Sean White was cruising down the half pipe to his 3rd gold medal I was done.  The next step is to add the centers.  I plan to use my favorite fusible interface method to make the circles and then machine quilt them on to the quilt.

With that done I switched back to my La Passacaglia...  let's hear it for those rings:-)

Do you have a handwork project going for the Olympics?

Cheering along with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.