Friday, November 21, 2014

That's What Friends Are For

I still can't believe this Friendship Star quilt is really done!  This quilt was hand pieced by a friend and I've spent the last 6 years hand quilting it.  

The back really shows the quilting detail.  Each piece of the stars is outline stitched and then the solid squares have a grid quilted with a triple row of stitches.  The texture is amazing!!!

I thought about doing something intricate like feathers or flowers in the borders but finally decided just to extend the grid work out from the blocks.

After all its travels it seemed appropriate to finish binding this while relaxing at the lake:-)

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching I'm counting my blessings: good friends and time to quilt!

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 53" x 70"
Fabrics: 30s Repros.
Thread: Hand quilted with Mettler White (2) 40wt.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Perfect Storm!

Halloween may be over but I had to share this one before I put it away for next year.  This quilt is the convergence of my current obsessions...  pineapple blocks, circular quilting, and the Ghastlies.

It started with this awesome Pineapple Variation by my insanely creative friend Alexis and suddenly everywhere I looked there were pineapples.  Psych!  I used this amazing pineapple block tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts to make my blocks and then played with the layout until I came up with this.

I probably would have tucked the finished top away to quilt next year if Alexis hadn't come to the rescue again.  This was the perfect thing to work on during our quilt camp weekend at her fabulous beach house in Scituate.  A Nor'easter raged outside but we rode out the storm in style stitching away with snacks, wine and lots of laughter.

I may have gotten carried away with the pictures but we had a perfect fall day for a photo shoot.  I had a blast driving around Concord with the top down looking for spooky locations...

I promised myself no more trips to the graveyard but how could I resist;-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 36" x 36"
Pattern: Variation of a traditional Pineapple Quilt.  Blocks made using this amazing pineapple block tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts.
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, Onyx Grunge by basic grey, stash.  Binding Blush Grunge by basic grey.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: King Tut Rosetta Stone (978).

Friday, November 7, 2014

Falling for Modern Maples

I have a confession to make, I HATE Fall!!!  I know, it's practically heresy and will probably get me kicked out of New England but I really don't get it.  You can take your boots, pumpkin spice lattes, and "crisp" autumn days...  I like it hot and humid, where layering means throwing a cover-up over your bikini, flip-flops are the only shoes you wear, and refreshment comes from a bucket of iced tea.  As a result I really don't have any fall decorations.  October it's all Ghastly and come December it looks like Rudolph puked up Christmas but November, I got nothin'.  So when the utterly awesome Natalie said I should make a Modern Maples quilt I was like, "No Thanks!"   But then I saw her quilt and one by the awesome Story of Kat, and the amazing Modern Maples Flickr group and  I decided maybe I could do this.

The fabulous Mrs. McPorkchop started this craze when her pattern was published as part of Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays.  This block is really just a 9 patch made up of squares and HSTs so it goes together quickly and is easy to resize.  

I couldn't believe I was able to do this all from stash!  I've really been trying to use some of my most precious fabrics so you'll see some long hoarded Mendocino in here along with some of my favorite Denyse Schmidt and Anna Maria Horner prints.  I wanted to add some texture so I used Natural Essex linen for the background.

For the quilting I used fairly dense wavy organic lines which I hope look like the wind blowing.  I used the heavier 28 wt. Aurifil to give the quilting extra definition.  I couldn't believe my luck when I found these sublime stripes in my stash, absolutely perfect for the binding!

So now my dining room is ready for fall, even if I'm not:-)

Linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 28 1/2" x 85"
Pattern: Based on Modern Maples by the fabulous Mrs. McPorkchop for the book Pretty in Patchwork: Holidays and available here.
Fabrics: Natural Essex Linen, Stash including Mednocino by Heather Ross, Chicopee and Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt, Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner, Simply Color by V+Co. and Lucky Penny by Alison Glass.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: Light Beige Aurifil  (2310) 28 wt top thread, 50 wt bobbin.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: The End Is Near!

My BQFs and I couldn't have asked for a better Quilt Camp weekend!  There is nothing like a nor'easter for the perfect excuse to batten down the hatches and quilt the days away!  As the storm raged outside we set up shop and got sewing.  

It's true Halloween has passed but rather than consign this to a year (or more) in the UFO pile I decided this was the perfect opportunity to just get this done.  Mindless quilting is so much better with friends...   plus chocolate, wine & Kurt Russell;-)

I probably would have gotten bored going around and around endlessly but with good company I pushed through and finished all 14 sets of rings.  Quilting all these circles I created my own vortex that sucked up everything in it's wake.  Between the crashing waves outside and spinning my quilt around I was starting to feel a bit queasy.

The end is near...  I just have to finish tacking down the binding and this will be ready and waiting with the rest of the Ghastlies when Halloween rolls around again next year.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Quilting it up with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival:Gathered Ghastlies

I'm just dying to share my latest Ghastly creation for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I have been obsessed with this fabric line since it came out.  With each new release I add more to my collection so I have to keep coming up with creative ways to use it.

I've had this one in mind for a while...  it's sort of a mash up of my Cracking Up quilt and this Beachy Wave quilt.  I started with a simple strip pieced quilt using the fabric repeat to determine the width of the strips.

I pieced the strip quilt and quilted it using a simple broken glass pattern before adding the ruffles.

The ruffles are a little tricky.  I cut two strips 5" by the wof and joined them end to end then sewed them right sides together along the long side to make a really long tube.  When gathering I find it easiest to set my stitch length to the longest length and turn my top tension all the way up to the highest setting.  I sewed two rows of gathering stitches down either side of each ruffle.  The key for easier gathering is NOT to catch the seam allowance in your basting stitches.  I pinned each ruffle to my quilt adjusting them so the gathers were fairly even and then top stitched down the center of each ruffle using coordinating thread.

And I got to indulge my other obsession, Tula Pink!!!  The Absinthe colorway of NightShade coordinates perfectly with the Ghastlies:-)

It's the perfect addition to my absolutely Ghastly foyer:-)

My undying admiration goes to Amy for once again organizing the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!  I've entered this in the Small Quilts category.  The end is near, today is the last day to enter your quilt.  Don't be left behind!

Also linking up to the fabulous Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 40" x 68"
Fabrics:  from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, Heath. Backing: Absinthe Spider Blooms from Nightshade by Tula Pink.  Binding: Architextures by Carolyn Friedlander.
Batting:  Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread:  King Tut Rosetta Stone 978, Aurifil Victorian Rose(2445)

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

W.i.P. Wednesday: It's been a Ghastly Week

As soon as October rolls around I always have to break out my Ghastlies stash.  I already had two Halloween projects hanging around from last year that I'm trying to finish up for this year but I couldn't stop myself from starting something new...

I've been obsessed with this incredible pineapple variation quilt made by the insanely creative Alexis.  I used this awesome pineapple block tutorial by Crazy Mom Quilts to make these blocks.  Cutting all the strips took a while but from there the blocks go together fairly quickly.  I don't usually work with a lot of black and grey but I was able to pull all of this from stash.

As I mentioned in my Around the World Blog Tour post I don't really plan things out preferring to work more by trial and error.  My original vision for this quilt was to have additional fussy cut Ghastlies blocks in the negative space.  I tried a few different ideas but it was way too busy and just looked like a hot mess.

 I'd also deliberately made the blocks wonky so it was going to be a challenge to fit them together since the outer rings wouldn't match up.  Eventually I came up with this configuration...  I like the way the cornerstones in the sashing echo the center diamonds.  From a distance it creates an interesting vibrating XO effect.  Now the race is on to get it quilted before Halloween is over and it gets banished to the UFO pile until next year:-)

Speaking of the Around the World Blog Tour, I tagged my fabulous friend Tina of ModGeometry.  Hop on over to her blog to get a glimpse of her creative process and awesome quilts!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Quilting it up with this week's W.i.P. Wednesday:-)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Meet Murray the Whale

It's that time of year again... time for the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I've been on a bit of a nautical kick this year and preppy has always been my thing so the minute I saw Oh, Fransson!'s Preppy the Whale pattern I knew I had to make one.  As luck would have it Elizabeth was looking for pattern testers and I begged offered to help.

I wanted to make a single block to test the pattern before committing to cutting all my fabrics.  This pink whale was inspired by the Vineyard Vines logo.  I named him Murray in honor of Shep & Ian, the brothers who founded Vineyard Vines.  He was so cute I knew I had to put him in his own quilt.  What could be preppier than stripes and a kelly green binding?

I used the thicker 28 wt. Aurifil thread to quilt this.  I love the extra definition it adds!!!

Of course I couldn't resist the chance to take a trip to Martha's Vineyard for a photo shoot!

A huge thank you to Amy for once again organizing the Blogger's Quilt Festival!!!  I've entered this in the Small Quilts category.  For a whale of a good time check out all the participants:-)

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 42" x 52"
Pattern: Based on Preppy the Whale by the fabulous Elizabeth Hartman of Oh, Fransson!
Fabrics: Kona Nautical and Carnation, Bella Solids White.  Binding: Bella Solids Kelly.  Backing: Riley Blake large gingham in Navy
Batting: Quilter's Dream Wool
Thread: Aurifil  50wt and 12wt in White (2024) and Very Dark Navy (2785)