Saturday, February 27, 2021

Put a Ring On It

While I'm not really back in the blogging groove I have been getting back in to quilting.  It started with the zoom class I took with Tara Faughnan just before the holidays.  I wish I was cool enough to have gotten a shot of the zoom class happening but I really have to say this was an awesome way to learn a new technique.  I went in with very low expectations but Tara was incredibly organized and ran the class very efficiently.  I might even go so far as to say I preferred it to an in person class because I was able to work in my own studio setup and didn't have to worry about forgetting some crucial tool and I could just grab that perfect fabric I just spotted sitting on my shelves.   She's also very entertaining so I highly recommend it and I'm hoping she'll offer her Galactic Quilt class again soon.

I know my fabric selection looks a lot like Tara's sample but the inspiration was actually my closet.  The striped rings had a rugby stripe feel to me and shades of pink and navy with cream or white is pretty much my daily uniform.  I added pops of metallic linen which don't show as well in the pictures but really make it sparkle in person.

I reworked my studio setup a bit so I could sew press and trim without getting up which made it really easy to power thru making all my arcs.

One thing that makes Tara's technique particularly forgiving is that the blocks are made slightly oversized and then trimmed down.  

I tried not to overthink the layout so once all my blocks were properly sized they sewed together really quickly and I was able to have my top together in one cold, snowy afternoon.

I was on a roll so I went ahead and made my binding.  Now I'm just waiting for my backing and batting to arrive but hopefully I'll get this one basted and quilted quickly.






Sunday, January 31, 2021

Fresh Starts & New Beginnings

 January is always a time for fresh starts and new beginnings.  With winter settling in and more days at home I'm hoping to reawaken my creativity with some new projects...

I'm hoping this will be the year I finally finish my La Passacaglia.  On one of January's inevitable freezing cold day I was inspired to pick some thread colors and start hand quilting.

Since it's not always practical to drag a quilt around I thought I'd give needlepoint a try.  I  picked up this adorable Bar Cart kit and online class to keep my hands busy while I'm on the go.  Of course I couldn't resist the matching thread holder.

I also started this Double Wedding Ring Quilt in a class with Tara Faughnan.  With my fabrics pulled this is the perfect mindless paper piecing project for binge watching Bridgerton.  Now that February is just around the corner we'll see if I can keep things going.  


Thursday, December 31, 2020

2020 Year in Review

 2020 by the numbers...

4 quilts - 3 of the out of the UFO stack.

1 Instagram post so no Top 9 this year.  I took a huge step back from social media this year and am still struggling with how to cultivate a healthy creative presence.  

294 days since the world shut down because of Covid-19.  My quilt studio became my home office and making masks became every sewists #1 priority.

136 hours learning Spanish on Duolingo and the reason I haven't seen any of the shows everyone else was binge watching.

106 books read.  Thank goodness for Kindle!

2020 was not the year any of us was expecting.  I hope that the challenges and lessons learned from this year can bring growth and creativity in the year ahead.

Stay safe and happy quilting - XOXO Alice

Monday, December 28, 2020

Long Overdue

This is another one from deep in the UFO stack.  This is Jaybird Quilts' Toes in the Sand that I taught as a block of the month at Quilter's Way.  

Up until now I've always quilted my quilts myself but my amazing friend Rebecca has a new longarm and she was looking for practice quilts.  I'd already lined her up to baste my La Passacaglia and asked if she'd quilt this one for me as well.  

I can't even describe what a fabulous job she did quilting this so I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.  She quilted each triangle with a different motif and every one is a masterpiece!!!  

The details are absolutely perfect and the texture is just unreal!

It came out more beautiful than I'd ever even imagined possible!!!

As soon as I got it back I curled up under it and binge watched a couple of episodes of Great British Bake Off Masterclass while tacking my binding.

This one is being gifted and I can't wait to see it in use.  Maybe I'll even get inspired and make a matching pillow case.

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 64" x 93"
Pattern:  Toes in the Sand by Jaybird Quilts
Fabrics: PB & J by basic grey for Moda.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Quilted by: the amazing Rebecca Loren



Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Winter Trees

This is the first (and probably only) new quilt I made this year.  I'm not a fan of fall so I haven't made a lot of seasonal d├ęcor for the interim between a totally Ghastlies Halloween and Rudolph puked up Christmas everywhere.  My foyer was looking a bit forlorn so I turned to my Pinterest porn for ideas.

This is a complete rip off of the quilt made by Cassandra at The (Not So) Dramatic Life.  I was totally smitten by hers and I knew I had the same Cotton + Steel print in my stash (finding it was the biggest challenge of this whole project).  She doesn't give a lot of directions but it's the kind of forgiving project where you can just wing it.  I just sliced and diced until it was the size I wanted.

Bubbling is not my thing but I got plenty of practice filling in all the background space.  I also tried some snowy sections at the bottom.  I came sooo close to running out of thread but for once I didn't have a thread emergency which was a blessing because waiting to have more thread delivered probably would have been the end of this.

Quilt Stats:

Finished quilt is 18" x 20"
Pattern: copied from Cassandra at The (Not So) Dramatic Life
Fabrics: Cotton + Steel by Sarah Watts, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton. Binding: Grunge by basic grey for Moda.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Smoke Blue (4644).

Friday, December 18, 2020

Picnic Plaid

I don't know when I became a person who can't waste a single scrap but it's happened.  I had a bunch of miscut sashing strips left from my City Sampler.  For some reason I felt compelled to use them.  My first instinct was to once again pair them up with my treasured Liberty stack but once I pulled it out I decided I just didn't have another Liberty + Smoky project in me.  Digging thru my stash I stumbled on this fabulous plaid and decided to branch out. 
 
My sashing strips were 1 1/2" x 9" so I cut my plaid at 7" by wof and then sewed 1 1/2" strips to either side.  These were then subcut into 7" squares.  From there I attached the sashing strips to each plaid side making sure the white corners were on opposite sides.

I love an on-point setting!  It looks complicated but really isn't.  Bonnie Hunter of Quiltsville.com has a comprehensive chart that saves you from actually having to do math (and also gives you the correct equations in case that's how you roll).

I kept the quilting simple and just did a loopy meander.  I haven't done FMQ in a long time so this was an easy and forgiving transition back into it.  I love the way the pink thread pops against the smoky shot cotton!

Gratuitous binding shot.  Football season definitely inspired me to finish some quilts so I had something to occupy my hands.


Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 37" x 49"
Fabrics: Plaid from Stash, Kaffe Fassett Shot Cotton in Smoky.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Peachy Pink (2435).

Monday, December 14, 2020

Big Swoon

Now that my quilt studio is doubling as my home office I've had to do a major clean out.  I unearthed this giant swoon block basted and just waiting to be quilted.

In the spirit of just get it done I kept the quilting simple and just did some echo quilting and added some extra rows to further define the elements.  After 7 years I was able to finish this off in an afternoon.  I'd even made the binding already so I just needed to slap it on and enjoy some Netflix and chill while tacking it down.

Lessons learned:
Flying Geese would have been better than HSTs for the zigzag border.
Don't use a directional print for zigzags!!!


Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 37" x 53"
Pattern:  Adapted Swoon Block by Camille Roskelley
Fabrics: Tufted Tweets by Laurie Wisbrun, FSDS Sky & Kiwi, Bella Solids Bleached White.  Timeless Treasures Dots.  Binding: Crazy for Dots & Stripes by RJR Fabrics.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in  Natural White (2021).